Entries Tagged as 'Art'

Painting In Paris

September 23rd, 2008 · 4 Comments

As many of you may know, thanks to financial support from the Rosalie Chauncey Scholarship, I was able to study painting in Paris this summer. As a service to prospective students applying for the Chauncey this year, I will be giving a presentation in Melchers 207 Thursday September 25th, at 5:00 PM. I will briefly present on my experiences in Paris and the opportunity provided by the Chauncey scholarship, which will be followed by a question and answer/discussion section. All are welcome. More info and images below… (more…)

Tags: Art · Melchers · original work · paris

Roblog: The Triumphant Return

September 12th, 2008 · 9 Comments

Okay, Okay, I know its been a long time since I added any meaningful content to this blog, but with the semester now well underway and an enormous mound of projects started, I have finally returned to the internet after a long summer of international travel, painting, exhibition-visiting, but mostly engaged in the (unsuccessful) de-groundhogging my barn, all of which will be subjects of their own exciting posts in the coming days.

Since the theme of most of my projects this semester involves my longstanding fascination with the structure of newspaper comics, I’m going to do my best to integrate some cartoon-style illustrations into the posts, as well as use this as a forum to document the progress of my work, rather than the usual exhibit-able final product.

Tags: Art · comic · umwblogs

Remembering Herblock at the Portrait Gallery

September 8th, 2008 · 4 Comments

Nice Tapes Boy!

Look! --- Nice Tapes, Okay, Boy?---Okay?--

Now that we’re hitting the homestretch of a three year Presidential campaign that has lasted longer than most major wars, its a fitting time to look back at the recent history of the American presidency through the eyes of the inimitable Washington post cartoonist Herbert Block, who caricatured every president between Franklin Roosevelt and George W. Bush until his death in 2001 (at the time, newspapers lamented in his obituary the added frustration of losing the perspective of Herblock shortly after September 11th–after all, he had helped give perspective to a nation during World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Watergate, the Cuban Missle Crises, the Iran Hostage and most national tragedies and hardships of the 20th century). Check out the exhibition of original cartoons the National Portrait Gallery has on display.

Going by the trade name of Herblock, he coined the term “McCarthyism,” now a required vocabulary word for every 11th grade American history student, and gave us some of the most memorable images of Richard Nixon ever drawn. The exhibition includes his minimal set of drawing supplies and the beautifully goofy bronze National Cartoonist Society’s Rueben Award (named after Rube Goldberg. It looks sorta like this). Most interesting of all is the opportunity to see how the artist worked–the still visible non-photo-blue pencil drawings, his large, fluid sketchy inkings, and the frequently whited out and taped over faces he corrected again and again and again.

Lets See If You Can Do Any Better

Now Lets See What You Can Do!

In short, this is a real gem of an exhibition, rare in its unusual subject and scope, well curated (except for a curious shortage of George W. Bush cartoons), and universally fascinating. My major critique of the exhibition is that the exhibition designers bought into the growing trend of putting a group of labels far from the artwork (to be less distracting). This works beautifully for adding existential weight to the purity of color field paintings and the like, but when you have to keep walking back and forth to read the title ofan artwork that doubles as the caption of the cartoon, it is just inappropriate and discouraging to the viewer.

(Thanks to a voracious appetite for anything resembling a cartoon, I first started reading Herblock around age 9 with no understanding of the political topics the work touched upon, and received his autobiography for Christmas from some encouraging family member around the same time. My copy is now pitifully worn and dog eared, looking a little bit like it was dragged through the political unrest of the 20th century itself, and I can safely say that Herblock was a primary influence in both my political interest and development as a painter.)

Tags: Art · Art Exhibitions · comic · washington D.C.

Most of the time, I wish I lived in Jim Henson’s Fantastic World

September 5th, 2008 · Comments Off on Most of the time, I wish I lived in Jim Henson’s Fantastic World

If you go to D.C. between now and October 5th, do yourself the favor of suspending reality long enough to believe in puppets and go to the Smithsonian International Gallery’s exhibition Jim Henson’s Fantastic World.

I can’t really give an objective critique of this exhibition because I hold the Muppets in the same special place in my heart reserved for Calvin and Hobbes, the American Flag, going back for seconds at Thanksgiving dinner, the Washington Redskins and coming down the stairs on Christmas mornings. I love these things in a way that transcends rationality, so I’m not going to muck about in things like logic and arguments.

Therefore: go to this exhibition. See Henson’s early cartoon work. Say hello to puppets of Rowlf and Bert & Ernie. See the most touching photograph of a human/felt conversation ever taken. Also, the exhibition is far from a highbrow art exhibition–it has zany sounds, rare early videos of the Muppets, bright colored walls, and an actual do-it-yourself puppetry studio for kids, so go ahead and take children. I mean with you. (There are probably laws against taking the children at the exhibition)

Tags: Art · Art Exhibitions · comic · washington D.C.

Sculpture: A Pile Of Valuable Things

April 26th, 2008 · 2 Comments

The Most Valuable Things I Own
A Pile Of Valuable Things
mixed media (books, cabinet light)

In this work, the cord to an electric light is threaded through a stack that constitutes the artist’s collection of (relatively) expensive art textbooks, which are the artists most valuable possessions, both fiscally and sentimentally. The drilled hole inherently devalues the resale value of the books, and, to a degree, diminishes their usability, incorporating destruction of worthwhile materials into the junk-art idiom.

Tags: Art · ARTS 331 · original work · sculpture

Sculpture: This Could Be The Whole Ball Game

April 25th, 2008 · 1 Comment

This Could Be The Hole Ball Game
This Could Be The Hole Ball Game
baseball with pencil, suspended by fishing line


A Little League baseball pierced with a red pencil and hung from Jeffersonian-revival architecture offers a menacing look at the heavy-handed nostalgia of Americanism: as the title implies, this sculpture could be a jury-rigged version of the colonial hole-ball game where children idly attempted to catch a small wooden ball on a stick (a game mainly preserved in nostalgic toys sold in places such as downtown Fredericksburg and Colonial Williamsburg), but even so, this game has been repurposed: it is in midair, suggesting flight, while the pencil becomes an arrow which dually suggests direction and harm. The additional duality of the title refers to the weighty phrase uttered by play-by-play announcers at particularly important moments in a baseball game, one where the outcome can be essentially decided in what would otherwise be an ordinary event. Taken together, these elements inform a larger theme: a deadpan satire on the direness of American nostalgia,  collecting (European-influenced) American iconography that is heavily dependant on reverie for the past and placing it squarely on the shoulder of generations that have not experienced that past.


For the record, I almost critically injured one of my esteemed professors while setting this up.

Tags: Art · ARTS 331 · original work · sculpture

Sculpture: Support Group I (My Arcadian Woods)

April 25th, 2008 · Comments Off on Sculpture: Support Group I (My Arcadian Woods)

Support Group I (My Arcadian Woods)
site specific installation, Melchers Hall (9 wooden studs leaned against arcade columns)


Like “Storm Tossed Ship,” the title of this work alludes to an art historical standard: in this case, the Arcadian landscape. The tradition of Arcadian landscape incorporates the idea of nature as a pastoral extension of man’s dominance of the earth; this work casts such support relationships into doubt: is the wood holding up the architecture or is the architecture holding up the wood? By extension, the classical-revival architecture plays the role of the Arcadian society, while the wooden planks take on the role of the natural world, greatly undermined by their subjugation to human purposes. Finally, the exposed wood suggests the whole structure is decaying or sinking into this dangerous earth, a feeling of uneasiness reinforced by the precipitous location of the viewer inside of the architecture.

Tags: Art · ARTS 331 · Melchers · original work · sculpture


April 12th, 2008 · Comments Off on Photos From CANNONCANNONCANNON


Now that CANNONCANNONCANNON (take a breath…) has closed, I just wanted to thank everyone who made it to our senior exhibition, whether you came to our opening, First Friday reception, or daily visiting hours. All the artists were thrilled about the enthusiasm we received from all visitors, art-goers, non-art-goers, Fredericksburgers and out -of-towners alike.

If you missed it (and shoo-ee, boy did you miss it: them tunes were hoppin’ and the bar-b-que was fan-tas-tic!), take a look at these photos from the opening. Later this week I hope to put up some more shots of the artwork itself (in case you were in Australia or something).


Steve Griffin & The For Rent Band (Thats the Williamses on Fiddle and Banjo)


The artists collected in the opera-box


A behind-the-scenes installation shot. That’s Molly Sheldon’s unicorn transported by Eric Norman and Mike Mosley.



Tags: Art · Art Exhibitions · art galleries · Fredericksburg

Sculpture: Drawing Pictures of NASCAR With My Friend Kyle

April 2nd, 2008 · Comments Off on Sculpture: Drawing Pictures of NASCAR With My Friend Kyle

Drawing Pictures of NASCAR With My Friend Kyle
crayons, plastic, feather, caution tape, paper clip

from the SPORE COLLECTIVE! exhibition at Randolph-Macon (March 2008)

Tags: Art · ARTS 331 · original work · sculpture

Sculpture: Piss Break

March 24th, 2008 · Comments Off on Sculpture: Piss Break

Piss Break (Robert Lynn Sucks Cock)

Piss Break (Robert Lynn Sucks Cock)
site specific installation (wooden boards in men’s bathroom, Melchers Hall men’s bathroom)

(Just as a point of reference, The title of this work incorporates both the intervention of the boards in the functionality of the bathroom stall, but also the found graffiti in the bathroom stall homophobically insulting the artist.)

Tags: Art · ARTS 331 · Melchers · original work · sculpture