Saturday, January 30, 2010

Plaid Gap Skirt

The Gap just got this skirt back: 
With this slide:
Of this painting that I did when I was going through a non-objective phase:
Sewn into the underskirt:
Over a little window that I had cut into the fabric:
Which means that it's one of my rare clothing intrusions that can't be reversed. The slide is pretty subtle, visually, but I imagine it may be odd on a tactile level.  Here's one with the skirt turned inside out. The slide is at the lower left corner of the underskirt:
I like it.  Now I need to find more of my old slides.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Being One of Those People to Joshua Ferris

Joshua Ferris gave a reading from his new novel this week, and it occurred to me that this might be a chance to give him a copy of this Post-it Book that I did based on Then we Came to the End.  This is very much against my nature, which is very uncomfortable with self-promotion or even anything that could be considered self-promotion, and tends to view people who approach more successful strangers about their own work with an unfair level of scorn. (This blog doesn't count, because it is so easy to ignore if you are not interested in what I'm doing.) The thought having occurred to me though, I knew that if I wussed out and did not actually approach Joshua Ferris, I would go home feeling disappointed with myself and vaguely depressed.

The reading itself was really good. The new novel, The Unnamed, seems compelling and well-written, and Ferris was refreshingly opinionated during the Q&A afterward. (He was quite strident on the point that the disease in the novel is a disease, not a metaphor for anything else, and mentioned how high school English teaches people to read all wrong). Once that wound down, he signed books, while I stationed myself in a nearby chair, catching fragments of the fragments of conversations he had with book-buyers and trying not to clutch insanely at the envelope enclosing the print out of my project, with a brief explanatory post-it on the front.

After the line was exhausted, I made my approach. The conversation went something like this:

Me: Hi
Ferris: Hi
Me: I'm really nervous.
Ferris: Why are you nervous?
Me: I want to give you a copy of an art project that I did based on your last book, and it's weird.
Ferris: That's not weird.
Me: It is weird. (I put the envelope with the copied project on the table in front of him)
Ferris: Is that it?
Me: Yes, it's a copy. I liked your last book a lot, by the way.
Ferris: Oh, thanks.
Me: I was nicer to it in my project than I was to other books.

And then I basically bolted for the door. I was very nervous and self-conscious throughout, and
by the time I was sitting watching the last few people get books signed, my nervousness had reached the pitch of discomfort that I feel when waiting in lines to return clothing that I've altered for Shell Game. The sensations were so similar (the sweating, the feeling that I'm creeping toward panic), that it made me think that the Shell Game nerves might be not so much fear of being caught, but rather a strange reaction to the act of giving my work to someone else. But I still don't want to get caught.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I just read this article in the New York Times about H&M destroying and then throwing out unsold clothing.
I have done my shell game returning at that H&M location on multiple occasions. So aside from ridiculous waste and corporate greed issues...they may be trashing the art! I'd assumed that if my pieces failed to sell in a timely manner they went on to other lives at outlet malls or something. I didn't realized they were threatened by the dumpster!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Green Dress from H&M

I'd been sitting on this party dress from H&M since November, but luckily return policies are in my favor this time of year, so even though I've only just taken it back, I didn't run into any problems. I was rather nervous about braving the Christmas season shopping scene - the claustrophobia of lines and crowds compounded by the claustrophobia of being much too over-bundled for indoor temperatures.

Perhaps as a result, my alteration this time around was quite subtle: a painting of a pair of eyes on the underskirt, at right around lap height. I kinda like the idea that someone could pull up their skirt to flash a look:

That image has the dress pulled up and pinned to reveal these:

My main concern about this piece, is that someone could actually mistake it for part of the clothing design. At a store like Anthropologie or Urban Outfitters, shoppers would be almost sure to. I considered sewing buttons, beads, snaps, or some other interrupting object over the pupils to make them a little stranger, a little more obtrusive, but it had been a while since I'd painted a nice detailed pair of eyes, and I kinda couldn't bear to disrupt them.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Grandma in Brush

Although it is not a crowd scene in the way I'd earlier envisioned, I finally started painting the long-prepped canvas I'd been neglecting since, what, September?

Christmas with the family got me thinking about my grandma, a subject I've painted on multiple previous occasions. In this 48" x 60" painting she will be enveloped in a crowding riot of flowers. Below are a few process shots.

I started the painting last night, largely as a way of entering the new year on a productive note. I'm surprisingly happy with what I've done so far - all work that I had intended to be under-painting, but to which I am now growing attached. It has me thinking that I should temper my use of palette knife with more brushwork this time around, and not just for the sake of puns.