100% handcrafted, each "Queer Sleepover Classic" VHS pendant necklace celebrates critical formations of queer identity nurtured by independent video stores in the late 80s & early 90s. Pieced together with craft wood and paint, I hope to add more pendants to this special series, now exclusively on-sale and on display at the boutique gallery A Love Bizarre in Los Angeles.
As I’ve stated before, birthdays are excellent motivators for artists to establish deadlines for themselves. Let’s say a friend’s birthday is coming up. Do you have a calendar? Do you want to make that day special? Plan ahead! This year, I’ve made a commitment to hand-make as many gifts as I can for those I love, rather than contribute to an avalanche of products, “stuff” and other retail ephemera. Boo! There’s a magic that happens when you transform raw materials with your own hands, knowing that whatever you’re breathing life into is going to find a home with just one special person. I see it as a communication, a special message that repeats each time they look at it or pick it up. Emotional/Memory replay, like a video?
Engineering this piece solely by eyeballing photos on Google Image Search was a unique challenge, as I didn’t have a VHS tape handy for physical reference. (Next time, I will!) The process began on paper, as I sketched out its rough dimensions and visualized it hanging from someone’s chest, once the chain would be added. I approached it as a three-dimensional cartoon, as I hand drew the sprockets and wrapped the inner gears with construction paper (VHS tape). This project has definitely awoken more ideas within me to create colorful representations of household items, as well as setting a high bar for Maggie’s next birthday. *wink* Love you and Vidiots Foundation!
Finished crafting these last night, additions for a miniature room I’m designing with my friend/musician Ricky Berger for her upcoming music video, “That’s Where I Belong.” Stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes snapshots!
December 21st, 2018: Arizona was especially cold this winter. As my family & I admired the illuminated cacti at the Phoenix Zoo, fond memories of this Christmas tradition added an extra glow to the similarly decorated mesquite trees that lined its walkways. Mountain lions, gila monsters, roadrunners, snakes and all manner of desert creature scurried to the surface in decorative form, amidst the chatter of sneakers and other slow moving families trying to keep warm. As I cradled my paper cup of hot chocolate in my hands, grateful for each sip, I saw a saguaro cactus strung with brightly colored bulbs next to a howling coyote. “I still need to glue on those needles,” I thought, picturing the half-finished art project which would become this year’s Christmas gift for my mother: a paper cactus.
Firmly believing that birthdays make the best deadlines for artists, holidays are an equally powerful motivator. Fueled by the giving spirit of the season, I began crafting this cactus (seen below) in LA, finishing it back home in Arizona after an inspirational trip to the Phoenix Zoo. Just as the resilient desert plant stores water for the dry seasons ahead, I treasure these trips back home to charge my emotional batteries for the droughts in my life, giving back to those who mean the most to me. This year, I chose to leave my mom with a cactus, a model of perseverance and stubbornness…two of her finest qualities. By making something from the heart, why not choose to leave a part of your spirit with someone you love, instead of something factory-assembled? A new tradition, perhaps?
Been meaning to make this miniature for awhile, my first attempt at miniaturizing cartoonish food. Served on a (tiny) paper plate, the ingredients for this short stack were: Discs of painted clay covered in syrup (Gorilla Glue) with a disc of butter on top, which ended up being a slice of a synthetic rubber eraser from a mechanical pencil!
I'd like to develop the habit of drawing or creating something quick immediately after waking up and having my morning tea. Today (Tuesday) was my first attempt at this: a tiny paper taco. I crafted this tasty snack, all the while completely forgetting about my cup of Earl Gray, which was cold to the touch when I went to pick it up soon after. A small price to pay for getting lost in one's work.
What a joy to create this bright new color combination for my latest miniature, a recording studio from the mid-1960s. Partly historical, partly fantastical, this set was designed for my latest film, a documentary which utilizes archival recordings from the same era. I've always gravitated towards bending the rules of visually representing the past, and hope all of these pieces I've gathered come together as neatly as craft wood; Albeit, with some of their most endearing human imperfections imprinted upon the final product.
My latest film incorporates a new miniature set, a recording studio, which I'm realizing seems to borrow (in spirit) from the color palette of Stanley Kubrick's creepy red bathroom in The Shining. Eagle-eyed fans of The Duel may notice the grey file cabinet from its hospital scene, which will be repurposed for this new work with a coat of flamingo paint. Stay tuned for more mini updates as this room comes together!
Thomas Demand is known for making photographs of three-dimensional models that look like real images of rooms and other spaces. Art critic Michael Kimmelman writes of his work: "the reconstructions were meant to be close to, but never perfectly realistic, so that the gap between truth and fiction would always subtly show."
Special thanks to my friend Alexandra for sharing his work with me on one of our computers at work when it wasn't being used as a cash register.
I've just found my new Internet fascination for the next few weeks.