Jute Erosion Control Cloth

Loews and Home Depot are my favorite art supply stores.

Jute Erosion Control Cloth is a tough, natural, biodegradable geotextile used to stabilize slopes and control soil erosion.

It is also the latest art supply I am mocking up a few ideas to experiment with…

Inspired By: a Fur-Lined Teacup

I was recently asked if Meret Oppenheim’s fur-lined teacup, inspired Blackty Black Blanket.

According to the MOMA,  Object was inspired by a conversation between Oppenheim, Pablo Picasso, and photographer Dora Maar at a Paris café. Admiring Oppenheim’s fur-trimmed bracelets, Picasso remarked that one could cover just about anything with fur. “Even this cup and saucer,” Oppenheim replied.

Blackty Black Blanket came about by completely by happenstance. I tossed a partially finished zip tie blanket onto the white chaise in my studio and turned around to work on the computer. Later when i got up to leave the room and saw the blanket draped on the chaise, I did a double take and knew the Chaise and blanket belonged together.

I lost a comfortable place in my studio to lounge but gained a subtle yet powerful way to communicate how discomforting microaggressions feel.

Blackty Black Blanket, 2020

Do You See It?

The weaving on the left is a work in progress. The photo on the right is the view from my tree house in St. Croix.

I’m Obsessed with Nick Cave

Those familiar with my work, see the clear inspiration from Nick Cave. YES, I am all about reimagining found materials to create a post racial future. AND it goes deeper than that. I too share the belief that “beauty is optimism.”

From a recent interview with This Is Colossal…

This Is Colossal : How do the materials that you use—relate to the more conceptual aspects of your practice? I know sometimes they help draw people in because they’re so visually striking, but how are you thinking about that as you’re working?

Nick: I have to think about the journey and how I get your willingness to explore and go with me. I’m always thinking about ways into the work. Once you’re in, then I tell you what is the root of the work, where is it grounded. At that moment, you have to make that decision. Do I shy away from that and consume myself with the beauty? Beauty for me is optimism. It is the future. It’s me colliding these two forces together and challenging myself, as well as the viewer, to start to dissect, to start to expand on the narrative, to talk about what they’re emotionally feeling and connecting with. At the end of the day, it’s compassion. We need more compassion in the world.

I need to make my way back to Chicago to see Cave’s career retrospective Forothermore at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Even the show statement speaks directly to my core.

Nick Cave: Forothermore is an ode to those who, whether due to racism, homophobia, or other forms of bigotry, live their lives as the “other”—and a celebration of the way art, music, fashion, and performance can help us envision a more just future.

Nick Cave, Soundsuit, 2011. Mixed media including vintage bunny, safety pin craft baskets, hot pads, fabric, metal, and mannequin. 111 x 36 x 36 in.
© Nick Cave. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York
Photo: James Prinz Photography

Textures: The History and Art of Black Hair

I recently Zoomed Kent State University museum’s excellent research in history, fashion, art, and visual culture to reassess the “hair story” of peoples of African descent with KSU Museum with co-curators, Joseph L. Underwood, assistant professor of art history at KSU and Tameka Ellington, associate professor at the School of Fashion at KSU.

To say, I felt seen during the webinar would be a massive understatement.

The talk explored topics such as the preferential treatment of straight hair, the social hierarchies of skin, and the power and politics of display.  

Black hair has long been an visual signifier that has been leveraged, disdained, celebrated, and scrutinized for centuries.

I have been studying exhibition photos on the website. The shape of the combs, product packaging, and masterworks from artists including Sonya Clark, Lorna Simpson, Mary Sibande and Lina Iris Viktor have left me truly inspired to dig out some unfinished rope hair pieces I stashed away at the beginning of the Pandemic.

Sonya Clark
Black Hair Flag, 2010

For A Little Inspiration

Museum of Arts and Design to Present Exhibition Dedicated to the Ephemeral Art of Floral Design
Flower Craft investigates floral artistry as an overlooked chapter in the history of craft and design. It features the creative visions of six botanical artists working at the forefront of contemporary floral design. Inspired by nature’s ephemerality, the artists engage with stages of the plant life cycle, from seed to germination to decay, to interpret nature in sculptural form. On view May 14 through June 26, 2022.

Who wants to join me?