February 23, 2008

A shout out to the Stripe Factory

I recently wandered into the gallery in Chinatown known as Sister and ran into 'Stripe Factory' by artist Danica Phelps. Stripe Factory is a series of panels with perhaps thousands of little stripes arranged on them. Meticulous? Yes. Fastidious. Oh yeah. Method to the madness? Absolutely. Apparently the artist really made these panels factory-style with assistants to help make all the stripes in the name of efficiency.
What's nice about these panels is how different they seem when viewed from different distances. From one vantage point, a panel seems to hold purely an abstract texture. If you get a little closer, you can detect a pattern. From one angle there is a slight optical illusion, from another you can really see the detailed work. And if you get a little closer, each little piece of a stripe has its own shape and integrity, which can start to feel maddening when seeing so many of them. And I mean maddening in a good way. It's a nice exercise in seeing the forest, or the trees, or the veins of each leaf, depending on a couple of steps.

:: bogna ::

(Detail of a panel from Stripe Factory)

February 14, 2008

'My Life as a Filmmaker' and other soapboxes

Recently I was asked to speak at Gabrielle Kelly's "My Life as a Filmmaker" class at Los Angeles Film School. I was happy to come and talk about the skills of survival needed in the big filmmaking world out there, but I wasn't sure if I'd be able to fill in the hour and a half. But the students were very cool and very excited about their projects and their goals after graduation. I was impressed that they all seemed to specialize in a trade that complemented their long term goals.
I shared my stories of survival, showed a couple reels, talked about Vista Point Pictures, and listened to their concerns. Then I gave a little bit of tough love that I wish someone had given me: that it is your responsibility as an artist to be resourceful and to do some strategic planning so that you may continue your art and your craft. That it's okay to have professional experience, or to learn something about finances and commerce along the way, without worrying that knowing those things might somehow make you less of an artist or a pure creative. And that it is up to you to keep developing and strengthening your craft and your voice. I think many artists just want a patron to swoop in and develop their raw talent for them, but this ain't the Renaissance. There are things you can do to buy your own independence, even if only in little chunks at a time. Being savvy isn't something that need come only after huge 'overnight' commercial success. Self-reliance means being authentic and responsible throughout the process of your journey as an artist. And as an artist, you may not have a way out of that...
Before I knew it, the class was over, and I was all pumped up from having jumped onto my soapbox. I don't know if my talking was helpful, but I hope to see great things from these students in the future. We are all in this together, after all.

:: bogna ::

February 1, 2008

Getttin' ready for SAFARI AMERICANA

Yes, it's just around the corner. 'It' being SAFARI AMERICANA: Scenes of Delight, my solo show this summer at Gallery 825 in Los Angeles. I'm excited that I get to have the big space that I wanted in the back, and I get to fill it. And I will. With big, fun colorful images taken with toy cameras from my road tripping. And it's analog, baby. Except for the multimedia component of course. But it's mostly large format color photographs dominating the walls with the images that dominated me when I saw them in "real" life. And since I am about to experience a very rewarding process both as a visual artist and as a filmmaker, I am pulling up my sleeves, rubbing my hands together, and giggling on the inside. I cannot wait!