About Taped Paintings

Understanding that in today’s media-environment, the function of the industrial tool is now two-fold – first for its function, use and application, and second; that it is liberally branded, serving the ulterior function to implant upon the subconsciousness of the user with with a catchy, graphical hook.

Using tape is my first foray into an inversion of this logic, where the branding becomes the primary function of the purpose (artistically speaking) and the application/use becomes an after-effect.

By accident, I noticed the branded blue tape sitting on my desk. It is blue painter’s tape to mark edges while painting interiors.

 

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I once painted an interior myself. It was in Mid-town Manhattan. I got this job by myself. But by then, I had already painted entire galleries. A friend of mine, Mike had taught me an important technique to cover over-sized walls: Keep the paint trays filled to the brim with paint (Make sure there is plenty of floor covering, in these cases, we had a nice 4×8′ sheet of cardboard that we can slide along the edge that would catch any stray paint), roll the roller in liberally soaking it, start at the highest point (usually, you can reach the top, where the top edge has been cut (cut being a term for taking a brush and paint can and painting all edges of a room, typically corners where rollers will not reach), and let all of the paint dribble down while, in one stroke, the roller will coat the stretch from top to bottom in one stroke. This saves an enormous amount of time and energy it takes to otherwise roll the roller in an up and down fashion to cover the wall. This mark is the height of efficiency for covering large walls. This movement is repeated again, and there is always excess paint on the wall and roller to fill in gaps, splotches and streaks for an even coat. This is the zen of wall painting.

 

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These several years of experience are etched in my memory sitting in my studio in Downtown, Los Angeles. My mind is turned on by these plastic materials, that are so unequivocally bereft of life. Industrial materials to me, represent a vacuum, one that on a large scale has stripped, bleached and destroyed the environment of which we are beginning to see is an inevitable outcome: Of life in decline.

Organically, I discovered that by aligning the printed, branded surface of this marvelous blue tape, that I could create a wallpaper. There is something extremely pleasurable about aligning the print just right. It reflects a certain pleasure that any manual laborer gets out of working with their hands whether it is laying down wallpaper, doing electrical work, diagnosing and fixing cars, mowing lawns or painting houses. It’s a certain functionality.

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As an appendage to this, I’ve also collected coffee cup sleeves, whose whimsical and even melancholic imagery of floating coffee mugs swirl about. I guess I am in a process of discovery connection between things.

 

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Indian food night & Statements

It happened when I saw the heap of tender and green okra In the market. I pined for an old Hyderabadi dish cooked in my house growing up in Littleton, Colorado. The difference was then, that I probably wasn’t aware of how good it is. I just wanted chicken shorva every day or some other meat dish. the only real vegetables I liked we’re those that were on the condiment level… Served to accompany the main dish. How times have changed. I can’t go a day without eating fresh vegetables. Last week, I incidentally ate Taco Bell tacos. I can’t remember the last time I did that. David brought them to the bar I was sitting in. It was the end of the month. I had no money. I was pretty hungry. David with his affable exuberance emphatically dished the box over to me and told me to dig in, no holds barred. I subsequently destroyed three tacos. Later that night and into the next day, I noticed the stark difference in what my body was doing. The relationship between what you put in your body and how it responds is almost instantaneous. I began to feel a dull sluggishness overnight and into the next morning. I remedied that by making a raw cabbage salad. Anything raw and green will cut through the murk.

Tonight was a productive night. Besides making food, I have developed a lot of thoughts over the last month or more about my approach creatively speaking, and how to use questions in a constructive way in order to reveal HOW I process information. Because writing and words are pretty important and encompass a large aspect of my person, I have come to the point where I can’t ignore them in the process of making a picture. The three relational constructs: ideas, text and visual/material process. I was having some rare free time at work the other day when a flurry of words came into my head that made me crack up. This is a good sign. I have been working between black and white on these realistic, labor-intensive graphite drawings, I kept noticing how heavy they were becoming or are. Visually that is. They sink like a stone at different angles or times. Some of them. I was explaining to someone the trouble of having an idea only to wait and wait and wait for the execution to come through to fulfill it. In some ways, I like the slow way in which an idea can be revealed. But it has to be a good idea. And sometimes it is. But when it isn’t it feels like Vietnam. But what about when you are inspired? And you have like 34 ideas? I needed to face this – the side of me that doesn’t get stuck. I have been wondering for five years when I would be able to successfully negotiate this problem, where ideas could find themselves within an overall system or pattern or way, where they wouldn’t be rogue ideas cast out as stray things with no future, but could flow through a natural way of creating that permits ANY idea to have weight and shape. So the last month or so, It has been problematic, being too serious, about making “serious” art and about not seriously playing a creative game. I needed stupid jokes that open my mind, not dwell in emptiness of a lack of resources or a lack of humanity for which my own is bigger, stronger, more slow, broad.

Humor is an important element of communication that I learned more about in acting class. Dom got me pretty loose in there and it became pretty funny being loose. I thought of the worst painting titles I could. Somehow, I want to know if I have the gall to use banter as an outlet to channel life unconsciously.  Let it all go. I made a list of titles as a start. They made me visualize images. I notice the rupture of this word-process relationship. I stretched and gesso-ed a canvas tonight. By taking a title off the list and using it developing an image — who’s process has nothing to do with the word — I hope to emphasize a dislocation from word to process/progress. By using a title as a starting point, I might have a unique process of material investigation. Will post titles soon.