Sunday, June 12, 2011

Hello blog readers!

Thank you for visiting practicallyawall!  You may notice that it has been a while since I've updated with any new work.  That is largely because I have been more focused, lately, on projects that bear my real name, and have been doing less stealthy guerrilla work.  Nonetheless, I hope you'll poke around and check out some of the work I've put up here, particularly from my shopdropping series Shell Game and my (librarydropping ?) series Post-it Books.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Quite a Cozy

My own guerilla art output has been a bit meager lately, and so I figured I'd share a link to this piece that I enjoyed reading about recently:

I feel like I've seen or heard about guerrilla knitting with surprising frequency recently, but this piece, by New York based artist, Olek, is by far the most visually and critically interesting and impressive.  In brief: she knitted a cozy for the Wall Street bull:
It sounds like the piece didn't survive very long before park's caretaker unceremoniously removed it.  It's a pity - I'd like to think that work with this much obvious care and craftsmanship, even if unauthorized, would give some pause to those charged with destroying it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Too Googly

I'm going to have to alter this alteration before returning.  Here's the skirt from the outside:
And here's a little peek at the underskirt:
 Googly eyes! Here's the full view with the skirt pinned up to show the googly eyes affixed to the underskirt with gel medium:
I had been concerned initially that the gel medium wouldn't hold the eyes on well, but it turns out that it holds them quite well... perhaps too well.  The problem that I didn't anticipate is the noise that the googly eyes make.  They all rattle when you move the skirt, which obviously won't work for returning. 

So now I've got to figure out a remedy for that.  I could try to slit the eyes and insert some adhesive so that the black parts stay still, but that would probably look messy, and ruin the fun of googly eyes.  My first move will be to see if I can remove the eyes, maybe by soaking the underskirt and gel medium, in hopes that it will loose it's hold, then go back and paint something else in their places - possibly stationary eyes, or something else of similar size and shape.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ahhh... That's Much Better

The bad news is, I've been terrible about keeping up a respectable pace of posting here.  The good news is, it is not for lack of making art - I've actually been working on a couple of cool projects lately that I'd love to share.  But the bad news is, I did them under other nomenclature, and so will not be writing about them in this forum.

But the good news is, I recently undertook this 'weekend project' of painting my dresser, got a bit more carried away with it than expected, and now it is more painting than dresser:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Shell Game: Gap Skirt with Feather Tuft

I've been pretty busy relocating lately, and haven't been keeping up with my shopdropping or blogging as I would like, but finally my first non-Manhattan Shell Game iteration has been returned to a Gap in my new hood.  For my first west coast Shell Game I added a tuft of colorful feathers to the underside of a pocket on this sober work-a-day number:
Here's a scintillating little peek up the skirt:
And now a shot with the outer layer of skirt and the pocket pinned up, but with the underskirt still hanging normally:
And hey - why not include a close-up?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Further Ferris

Back in January, I went to a reading by Joshua Ferris, after which I awkwardly gave him (further description here) a scan of the Post-it Book that I had done in response to his novel Then we Came to the End (further description here). 
Remember that?  My expectation of getting any response had long ago dropped to nothing...
But I actually just heard back from him.  I had included my email address with the scan I gave him, and I just received a very nice note from him, politely thanking me for coming to his reading and giving him the scan, and saying a few nice things about the piece.  Oddly enough, the fact that his response came eight months after I met him, makes me all the more impressed that he actually took the time to look the project over and write me a note!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Abandoned Coast, Abandoned Project?

I have quit the east coast in favor of the west, and in doing so, have left my serial post-it story, which I'd been placing on post-its in books from the Brooklyn Public Library, hanging in the middle of its grandmother/granddaughter cross-country road trip.  I decided to move so quickly, that I did not even get a chance to do the installment in Specimen Days, the next book that I had planned to use as a base, leaving this note a lie:
So now my "To be continued" is left hanging, presumably forever.  I could pick up the story in a new library book, here on the west coast, and keep adding the installments to my blog until its finished, which would give the piece a sort of completion.  After all, the likelihood that anyone ever actually found a segment of the story and followed it from one book to another, much less that anyone found the first segment of the story and succeeded in following each "chapter" from one book to the next, through four books, seems incredibly unlikely.  But somehow, even though any real audience for the piece was always likeliest to be found online, now that I know that no one with be able to follow the story through the actual physical books, the impetus to finish it is gone.  I'm not sure why my interest is so bound up with whether someone will experience the piece as it was "meant" to be experienced, rather than viewing the the documentation of that piece.  And isn't it rather strange to be caught up in the loss of an audience of one?

Or maybe I'm just making excuses for writers block?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Old Navy Cropped Jeans: Fun with Size Labels

I was walking the fashion district, looking for zippers, when I came across a trimmings shop with stacks of little boxes of these size labels:
I knew immediately that they would inspire all kinds of Shell Game fun.  In the future, I may paint or draw on them or in other ways alter them, but for my first utilization I've sewn them, as is, into this pair of cropped jeans from Old Navy.
That photo is of the jeans turned right-side-out, after I altered them.  I sewed directly through the fabric, but because I used a dark thread and did small stitches, my additions were nearly invisible from outside.  Here is what they look like inside-out:
To me, the scattering of size tags works as an abstract composition, but also brings to mind a representation of people of various sizes grouping themselves, and in that way takes on an almost narrative dimenstion.  Here's a closer shot:
The line at Old Navy was very long when I went to do the return, which meant that I had plenty of time to work myself into a nervous state by imagining being caught.  I spent a while watching the people around me, trying to perfect a "normal" way of standing in line.  But when I got to the front the clerk was so busy that quite literally said only two words to me, and the return ended up being one of the quickest and smoothest yet.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Message in a Bottle Project

I recently met the instigator of Message in a Bottle Project.  She, and the occasional collaborator, make small collages, paintings, and drawings which are then left in various public or semi-public locations to be found by whomever happens to chance upon them.  She leaves contact information on the back, and encourages the finders to get in touch and let her know when and where they encountered her artistic dispersions.  As she describes it on her blog:

"Our intent is seated in release, discovery, fun, exploration, stories, and connections between strangers. We like to think of MiaBs as movable, three-dimensional graffiti objects. "

Speaking of her blog, I stole this image off of it.  It is one of my favorites of the MiaB pieces, although there is certainly no dearth of lovely samples:
The way that the cloud-form's colors echo the colors of the room, and how all of these elements inform the figure with his slumped far-away posture is really arresting and poetic.

Here are a few more examples of the aesthetic:

The project shares the playful art-in-unexpected-places ethos of my Shell Game project, but the two take very different paths when it comes to follow-up. While MiaB encourages contact and explanation, Shell Game works hard to preserve anonymity and mystery. Although I don't want to leave contact info in my work, I think the move works well for MiaB. I like keeping my clothing alterations difficult to explain, but I think that the MiaB project is served by an awareness that when one has found a "Message", they have found a discrete part of a more intricate and expansive whole. But maybe Shell Game would be served by that as well?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Top Five in Five

After going to see Miranda July's 11 Heavy Things Installation currently showing in Union Square, I thought to myself, "That was nice, but it wouldn't quite rank among the top five art exhibits I've seen in NYC in the last five years."  Which of course inspired me to reflect upon what the top five art works/exhibits that I've seen in NYC in the last five years would actually be.  Here they are, ranked in what I feel to be their order at the moment.

5) Ron Mueck at the Brooklyn Museum:  Mueck employs the mechanisms of movie special effects production to make incredibly life-like figurative sculptures.  Though intensely impressive from a technical angle, what really drew me into Mueck's work was how he played with scale to make me experience my own figure differently.  A huge sculpture of a woman lying in bed, for example, brought back vividly the feeling of being a child crawling into bed with my parents, simply because of how it's scale related to my own.
Ron Mueck: In Bed
Ron Mueck (Australian, b. 1958). In Bed, 2005. Mixed media, 63 3/4 x 255 7/8 x 155 1/2 in. (161.9 x 649.9 x 395 cm). Private Collection
(Photo from

4) David Byrne's Playing the Building, presented by Creative Time: Byrne's building-as-musical-instrument was smartly conceived, a great way to experience the battery maritime building, and fun to play/watch.

3) David Hockney at Pace Wildenstein: Hockney may have come to prominence in southern California, but East Yorkshire sure seems to agree with him.  His large landscapes were lively and gorgeous in person, in a way that just can't be captured by a website.

2) Marina Abromovic's The Artist is Present at MoMA: Not only was it thrilling to have a chance to participate in an Abromovic piece, but the retrospective itself really fleshed out (sorry, couldn't help myself) my understanding of Abromovic's work.  I appreciated the chance to see others performing her earlier works, although I know that that aspect was actually detrimental for some.

1) Antony Gormley's Blind Light at Sean Kelly Galery: The only piece on this list that I went to go see multiple times, Blind Light offered a simple gesture, an interactive room-sized glass box filled with dense white-lit fog, that created a complex and indelible experience - exploring the human experience of vision and space - as well as an aesthetically beautiful object.

(Photo from
Now, this list may well deserve a place in the ranking of the top five most self-indulgent posts I've ever written, but still, if any of those works show up in your neck of the woods, check them out...