From the Studio
I have been in the same studio for 25 years, and to me it is just what it is-- a dusty, messy place full of tools, supplies and finished works wrapped in plastic to keep the dust off of them. And yet, almost every visitor to my studio remarks on what a great a space it is and how nice it would be to work there. They spend a considerable amount of time noticing the details, the tools, the paint splattered clothes and works in progress. It occurred to me these visitors didnʼt see the studio the way I did, but looked at it as a special place, a place where art happened. I didnʼt quite understand it, it was just my studio after all, a space where I spent many hours. It eventually dawned on me that many art appreciators get to see only finished works, usually hanging on pristine gallery walls-- they never get to see where they were created and the tools used to produce them.
These ʻFrom the Studioʼ pieces are my attempt to rectify that situation. I put together an exhibition that featured objects from the studio; shirts, pants and shoes that I wear while painting, a stack of plates that I typically use as palettes, and brushes, brushes, brushes. In fact, I made enough brushes (250, or so) to circle the entire perimeter of the gallery.
But these objects are not what they seem-- they are not the actual object at all, but a copy, a recreation in wood and acrylic, carefully made to resemble the real thing. It was an added twist that elevated these pedestrian studio objects to a higher level; each one becoming more than itself for having been the model for the finished piece. I was showing things that looked like something that for all intents and purposes came from the studio, but were also little handmade works of art.