Details {pt. III}

“lMG 08/18 (est. 1918)”_  30″x 22”, graphite, pigment on paper.

This gun is an air-cooled light machine gun (lMG). It had a very short lifespan made towards the end of WWI. It also had a tendency to overheat, which means that the perforations that make the gun so visually interesting did not serve the purpose for which they were designed.

“.270 Winchester” _ 30″x 22″, graphite, pigment on paper.

This is a gun I used to hunt antelope and deer.

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Details {pt. II}

Spandau I_ 30″x22″, graphite on paper.

The Spandau lMG 08 (c.1918). My friend Alvaro Perez brought this gun to my attention. This version, the leichtes Maschinen Gewehr or light machine gun, was mounted on aircraft. ‘Spandau’ is a borough of Berlin in which these guns were made.

The perforated jacket is the beauty and failing of this gun. I am interested in the perforations as windows in a tower-like structure. Taken symbolically this structure was created and collapsed by war.

Spandau II_ 30″x22″, graphite on paper.

Masculinity (?)

If it was all a joke it would be forgivable…

I had the idea for these drawings 4 months ago and finally decided to finish them. The impetus came from an art lecture with my class where they were overly concerned with the piece ‘buckshot‘ that I made in Germany this summer.  I described these as investigations of Cultures of Honor* and discussed the manifestation of masculinity in a phallo-centric culture.

I don’t think they bought it.

*A Culture of Honor is usually found in rural areas where honor is paramount to survival, therefore violence is swift and necessary. See Richard Nesbet and Dov Cohen’s book “Culture of Honor”

Details

Details… a bit of a contradictory misnomer.
Here are 3 drawings I have made since moving to Dallas.

Remington (Revolver) 22x15, graphite They are based on several influences. I am interested in the formal concerns that create the composition. I find it interesting to play off of ‘minimalism’ or ‘pure composition studies’ which often are blocks of color and/or linework that explore perception and space. By  having the subject (guns) create the structural composition the works can have a more complex dialogue. This allows for reading the pieces through a modernist lens while dually engaging the history of realism and photography in art.

The underlying thought is that the structure of the guns…
1) becomes less recognizable the closer you are to the weapon, which acts as a commentary on familiarity with violence. It also creates an abstract form that allows for multiple interpretations, hence #2…
2) the shapes take on an architectural feel when you crop them and lose the sense of scale by removing the background. This  echoes the idea in anthropology that a culture’s architecture reveals what they value.

 

Germany_Summer Residency_2009

I have been in Germany for 4 weeks.
In this time I have traveled around to a few villages and festivals and spent some time making art. I have also visited a few museums and cathedrals as all good tourists must do.

I am apart of a group show here in Tangermunde later this summer. (It is located in an old church that is now a museum.) I also have slated an exhibition for a Museum in Salzwedel in 2011. The Salzwedel Monkskirche Museum is another church with an intricate hanging system of wires. (see below)

Salzwedel Monkskirche Museum

Salzwedel Monkskirche Museum

The piece seen below was developed in Germany to comment on the serious issue of finding masculinity through tools of violence. I find the humor in the piece creates an easy entry point from which to discuss of the subject. The concept came about when the residency director loaned me his grandfather’s old shotgun, now a non-functional relic.
I asked friends on Facebook to help me title the piece, hence the working title : “Point and Shoot/ Two Pump Chump/ Perception Meets Reality {up and down}/ Get Glad and Sad in the Same Pants”

Point and Shoot / Two Pump Chump / Get glad and sad in the same pants

Point and Shoot / Two Pump Chump / Get glad and sad in the same pants

The largest pieces are about 60″ x 88″ wide. They are all made with some graphite and some lamp black pigment on paper. the saints are about 22″x15″ with some acrylic red and gold paint.

It took me 2 days to track down some wood. It comes in huge ruff planks that need a lot of attention. I cleaned up the wood to make a structure for “Point and Shoot/Two Pump Chump/ Perception {up and down}”.
(The difficulty in cleaning these up is really only in the time spent and in the quality of tools one has access to.)

structure-composite-1200