Monday, January 25, 2010

What You See Is (Not)What You Get, Maya Lin

If you have been following along at home, then you already know that I am in possessing of a certain piece of paper that certifies, no make that it confers upon me the title of Bachelor of Fine Arts:

I am quite proud of that diploma for it is the only one I possess not having completely finished high school.
The irony that I now work at a high school is not lost on me; I sometimes think it is a penance I now pay to all the teachers I forced into early retirement.
Anyways, to receive that illustrious document, I actually had to do some work that involved art.
So to speak.
Oh, there was also a whole bunch of a talkin' and a thinkin', but now that I look back, not a whole lot of actual makin'.
Okay, there was a whole lot o'makin, but not much survives to this day.
Anyways, I was diggin through a box in the garage when I happened upon some stuff I hadn't laid eyes upon for some time.
More on that stuff later.
One of my projects involved research on an installed sculpture. The object was to look at where the work was installed, why in was there, and how in interacted with the environment around it.
These are things not too many artists get to ponder unless they are commissioned to do a work for a particular place or event.
The first thing we were shown was a film on Maya Lin, A Strong Clear Vision. If I weren't so old, I probably would have caught a plane and begun stalking here right there for Maya Lin is in my humble opinion awesome. Her website is here.
A great long story made short is that Lin designed the Vietnam War Memorial when she was like twenty one years old winning a national design competition.
If that isn't awesome, I don't know what is.
So anyway, as part of the project, we had to make a presentation to the class during which we were to explain the choice of location and implementation:

Oh, did I forget to say that the artwork had to be original?
As in our own work?
Yes, sportsfans, that is my behemoth of a creation sitting next to the parking lot adjacent to the Art building up in Manoa.
Actually, it's a picture of a maquette I made that was Photoshopped into a picture of the parking lot adjacent to the Art building up in Manoa.
The sculpture was only about a foot tall, made with four inch long triangular pieces of steel tack welded together and spray painted blue.
I was sort of into triangles back then.
I thought the image came out well. The hardest part was catching the light from the correct angle and getting the shadows looking like they belonged there.
Unfortunately/fortunately the maquette is no longer in my possession. I gave it away when we were clearing out of the studio at school after we did our final project show.
Speaking of our show, I actually found a link to it online! See, the shirts in charge decided that our show was to have an digital catalog that year that no one received. Someone took it upon themselves to post in on a couple of websites.
No, there are no links.
I mean there are links, I'm just not putting any of them here.
Neener neener!
Okay that was pretty childish, but I never claimed to be an actual adult person.
Anyways, there's no linky for the links only prove that I am a real living person and not some figment of your wild imagination.
Then again, if I was part of your wild imagination, that wouldn't be so bad.
Don't ya know.


John Romeo Alpha said...

Visited the National Gallery sculpture garden in DC this summer. All those icons, conveniently placed for convenient touristing, but surely divorced from their original settings(?) One can imagine "Flowing Overlapping Gesture" there, hit the big time sure, but anyone notice that it was first deployed IN A CANAL?

limom said...

I think curators/directors do their best to try and place previously installed objects in similar environments.
For "Flowing Overlapping Gesture," the medium seems to preclude any idea of a permanent install. I sort of like the idea that it was in what is basically a utilitarian space and not in some shimmering pool outside an office building. Reminded me of graffiti in a strange sort of way.

dogimo said...

"That thing's shadow is as much a part of the sculpture as the thing itself!" - was what my comment was going to be, before I learned it was matted in. Do people say matted anymore? Inaccurate people do.

Anyway, I was vicariously psyched you had a piece of public monumental sculpture of your own you could walk up to and around! But I must admit that the job you did 'shopping it into place demonstrates another side to your skill-set that the sculpture alone wouldn't have addressed.

Cryptic yet sincere praise, from the master of such.

limom said...

Since working on that project, I've become much more sensitive about how art interacts with the surrounding environment.
That image by the way, is one of the few PS images I've posted.
Okay, the diploma too.
My intent is not to trick or deceive and I'll always come clean!

limom said...

I mean the diploma is real, just the name has been changed to protect the innocent.
Or in this case, the guilty.

dogimo said...

Oh yeah, you definitely put it right there for all to see! No deception possible, immediate disclosure right there.

But I am serious, I thought that was a damn good job on the shadow - and a damn good job showcasing how the full-sized piece would look in its intended setting.

That last line was only me kind of re-reading, second-guessing and I guess poking a little fun at the weird way I went about putting it into words. Is all.

limom said...

Okay, there was a bit of literary license there.
That's an idea! I should PS up some Literary Licenses and sell them on Etsy!
It'd be like James Bomb, license to create fiction.
The trick to the image above was to take the pictures from the same light angle then you can PS in the whole thing shadow and all.