A lovely afternoon this past summer I spent on the beach in Cala s'Alguer, north of Palamos with some friends including Santi Román and his family. We had previously discussed doing a portrait of his family and I had been wanting to do a piece on the beach for awhile. I wanted to catch a relaxed moment that is basically pretty neutral and this is what came out.
Sunday on the Beach, Painted Steel, 119cm x 86cm, 2009
Text Message (detail), Steel, Various Dimensions, 2009
Remember we used to write things?? :). Remember grammar? Remember penmanship? Naaaah forget penmanship it was never my thing. Regardless it seems today that most of the writing that get's done is electronic and I feel emoticonned. A couple years ago I did a text based piece for some friends and have been wanting to return to investigate it more since then. I have and this is the result... Text Message #1, a small note that you might leave or find on the kitchen counter, a pillow, etc... The possibilities are limitless.
on the floor in the studio
And it's flexible!!! Here it is in the three line version in Diagonal!!!
Over the last months I've done a handful of interviews which I find are a great opportunity for reflection and gathering ones thoughts. Here you have a video done for local television channels in Spain as well as links to others that I have done for various online publications. The series is called Noves Visions and in their own words:
"The program Noves Visions talks with people who have left their country of origin to come and live in Catalonia. This in order to learn about their new lives, their activities, their projects and their dreams."
Other recent interviews can be found at the following links:
Just Back from Madrid and I took a couple snapshots of some of the work presented there above and below.
I'll be involved in a show in Madrid if anyone happens to find themselves in Madrid over the weekend. If not the work should be up for a couple months. Other artists involved include RAQUEL SAKRISTÁN, BUBI CANAL, DANIEL ENTONADO, FRANK PLANT, HECTOR ORUÑO Y LUJÁN MARCOS. The inauguration starts at 8pm and will go until 1am to coincide with Noche en Blanco of Madrid. The Gallery is situated in Pelayo 48.....
Finally it dawned on me that this art gig is for the dogs, I could claim a variety of reasons but I don't want to sound bitter. Hence in my search for a new profession I wanted to find something that would be immediately lucrative and I have, arms dealing. I got started yesterday. Click the above image or here to go to Contain Gallery.
I mean why should all the governments get to keep all the revenue from such a lucrative all be it craven trade. No seriously that funny thought crossed my mind yesterday as i was making a shipping crate for my 3.5 meter fuzzy red Kalashnikov ( that's right! 3.5m, fuzzy and red!) which is on it's way to Cologne, Germany to be in the inaugural exhibition of Contain Gallery. I thought Charlton Heston would be proud of my crossing over to the Dark Side. I think I'm ready for lunch with Dick Cheney and Donnie Rumsfeld
Does this make me a bad person?
Should I be concerned about eternal Damnation?
Below you have a link to the video of the inauguration of Contain Gallery where the AK is currently housed.
In their own words:
"There’s a new arrival in Cologne’s design family
CONTAIN Gallery selected design editions is Cologne’s first gallery focused on young international design.
From now on there is a place in the heart of Cologne’s creative Belgian Quarter for exhibitions from the progressive world of young design.
The opening exhibition “Utopie jetzt! / utopia now!“ deals with the utopian idea of an allegedly refined society – contradicted by a cross-section of modern urban lifestyle.
A forum for young and modern design – this is CONTAIN Gallery’s mission statement. Alternating topical exhibitions present international up-and-coming artists and their exclusive prototypes, progressive design concepts and limited editions. Carefully selected pieces will also be available in the Gallery Shop."
Interview with Ioanna Paraskeva, director of Contain Gallery
in the Koelner Stadt Anzieger on the recent opening of her Gallery.
This is the invite for Personally Political, Contemporary Sensation, a show that I will be involved in Berlin at the Kunsthaus Tacheles, curated by Barbara Fragogna, Here is short blurb on the show... "Is the artist’s work Political even if it is Personal?
What is Personal and what is Political? Aren’t they as well an expression, explanation, and reflection of the contemporary? Again, what is contemporary? Hasn’t art always been contemporary? Aren’t we all contemporary, being alive now, in a specific society, culture, epoque and environment?"
The opening is the 26th of June so anyone in the neighborhood of Berlin is obliged to show up. Tacheles, the legendary Berlin squat, alternative culture factory or however you'd like to descreibe it, from the backside. Ain image from the evening of the opening
Series of Fifteen Quasi Identical Figures, Steel, cardboard, paint, 48cm x 24cm each unit, 2009
Figure, steel, etc.., 48cm without signage, 2009
This is a new series of 15 figures that I am working on. It falls in line with my earlier piece "Stay on Message". Working in a series allows me to discover the process involved in producing multiples (mindnumbing) which is something that I have never done. Even though the original drawing of the figure is the same because they are made by hand they still have each one their own individual differences. In the end they will also be adorned by other materials, some painted, some not, as well as signage that will make them different from one another. I am currently taking suggestions on what to put on the signage from anyone who cares to offer ideas. It can be text, an image or even an obeject, and can be any laguage or alphabet with a wink to musical notes and mathematical equations. Thesigns normally carry proclamations/declarations of love, fear, social injustice, hate etc... Sometimes just the will to communicate is enough. So if you have an idea please feel free to send it to me. I will be posting more images as I have them.
Something For Everyone, Steel, bright red Rayon fibers, adhesive, 350cm x 120cm x 5cm, 2009
A young Kalashnikov at the drawing board
I've had this image in my head for awhile and the more I researched it the more engaging the project became for me. More than a few years back I did a large handgun and was always surprised at the variety of responses that I received, beyond the standard positive/negative people would really just sit there and reflect on what it meant to them. The majority found it disturbing, I did as well. It was and is a potent symbol.
Something for Everyone, Steel, 350cm x 104cm, 2009
Something for Everyone (detail), Steel, 350cm x 104cm, 2009
The Kalashnikov orAK-47 (standing for AvtomatKalashnikova model 1947) was invented by Mikhail Kalashnikov and has had what could be considered an illustrious trajectory in becoming first the standard issue rifle for the Russian military and then exported en masse to cold war battlegrounds in the middle east and especially Africa. In some countries, Mozambique for example, it is seen as a key element in their struggle against colonialism and imperialism and was even adopted as an image on their flag on May 1st 1983 (Recent years have seen a sharp debate to have it removed). Kalashnikov has been quoted that he is proud that for many his invention is synonymous with liberty, he has also stated that it was Germany's fault that he became a fabricator of arms otherwise he would have happily stayed and agricultural engineer which was what he was previous to being drafted into the Red Army during WWII. A few interesting facts about General Kalashnikov on his Wiki profilehere.
As for the name I've given the piece, Something for Everyone, it has to do with this type of work which i feel leaves no one indifferent. I start with concern/interest in the composition of the object but ultimately am also aware of it's socio-political as well as historic significance. As far as scale is concerned I was due for a big one. This piece should not be confused as a pro arms stance or celebration of the arm itself but more an opportunity for reflection.
Some new tools to explore
As you can see the Kalashnikov is destined to be a 3.5m bright red fuzzy Kalashnikov. Quite a process.