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Archive for December, 2010

Its nice to see the family, especially all the little ones… though I think I’m glad I’m not the dad, lol. I’m sitting at a cafe on Whyte Ave and waiting for some friends. I’ve been working on applications for residencies across Canada, and wondering if somehow a gallery show will randomly materialize. Probably not, I’m not magically oriented.

I’ve been making some rather good work… I quantify that by defining success as meeting my production/completion goals and selling a painting here and there.

I’ve been working on the sequel to the SWARM!!, and its already lost the simplicity of the original. I’m a bit leery of this because SWARM !! is supposed to be simple, easily readable and advance my ideas and research into aesthetics without my getting bogged down in the complexity of year-long projects (I’m looking at YOU telemek 3 *jerk*). If my heater fails before I can finish telemek 3, I’m counting on my friends to stop me from setting it alight. Not even kidding.

But the simplicity of construction and composition is really a strong point for the SWARM. But as you know, my natural inclination is to complexity… and the new drawings are on the lean side of the middle between a telemek and a swarm. How about if I promise that if the new project goes over-budget time-wise, the one after it will gravitate back to the lovely minimalism of SWARM. Deal?

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Winter solstice, full moon eclipse, almost X-mas. And I’ve had a lovely celebration. I’m in the planning stages of the next in the swarm series, and I’m incorporating some new beasties. What happens to the idyllic world after the creatures that dwell within it have started meddling with that which dwells beyond the veil? As much as they peek into the nether world, perhaps the nether-world was looking back! So from whence these new emissaries?

Also, I’m trying to work out a four-part canvas… its harder than you’d think. Well, its harder than I’d think.

Will Rice is a sculptor and painter with a BFA from Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Looking at the recent controversy over the quickly-painted-over work of Blu at the MOCA (extensively discussed) , I’ve been pondering the meaning and significance of street art. The definition of graffiti is a sort of chimera, but it shares several unifying traits. A) Its usually illegal, B) it changes the public narrative, and C) perhaps most importantly, its temporary.

Its the third one that I’m hung up on right now. In my brain, “temporary” = “disposable” … We live in a disposable society, and that’s sort of slowly changing (I hope), but if the street art style is connected to consumer culture in that way, then it bugs me. It sort of ties in to the futile hipster race for artificial individuality and novelty as well.

What does this mean for the state of capital A Art? I’m not sure. Art in the age of digital reproduction, graffiti as consumable-disposable art… the prominence of ephemera in installations, ice and sand carving, performance art… I think my brain is melting a little, and I’m not the only one. There is a street art exhibit called the “Underbelly Project” that showcases art from over 100 prominent artists in a secret abandoned subway station.

No opening, no public viewing to speak of, no officials, no sales.  Its a purist move with no short-term gain or fame. Because of the non-public/public location, it still qualifies as street art (in my mind) and all the pieces are likely to last quite some time.

Of course, I expect a coffee table book out in like… 2 months, but that’s beside the point. I think graf-writers all secretly want their work to last as long as possible, and all of them come to realize what the word ephemeral means pretty quickly. My point is that art is becoming more and more about the ACT of making art, the finished, permanent final product isn’t the whole thing anymore… art is becoming something done, not something that you hang on the wall or lock up in a room… those are just the traces, the remains or even the detritus of the act. Like some kind of zen or yogic “practice” –  art is what you do and who you are.

Which, I gotta admit, is sort of terrifying to the pragmatic mind, dont-cha think?

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I’m wondering how to pair up 2d with 3d imagery. You can just lay in a 3d appearing image over top of a 2d image quite easily, and the 2d image converts in the mind’s eye very simply into background. You can lay a 2d image OVER a 3d image, but it needs to either over/under-lap or conform to the the surface rules of the 2d image in order to resolve its station in relation to the space created by the 3d image…. Does the 3d image always define or take over the rules of the 2d image? Or can the 2d image define the 3d image? To our photo and TV trained eyes, a two dimensional images can almost always be resolved into a representation of the 3d based on scale. We almost never resolve a 3d image back into a 2d representation, unless we watch alot of anime. I bet there is a theoretical book about the different visual relationships between 2/3d items in an image, but its probably written in Japanese.

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So the day has finally come! fly free, my little beauties!

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