Monday, July 30, 2007

Done with DC, back to building Social Space

Camp is really over, and although it took 2 1/2 hours for Grant to take a nap, I am now in a quiet apartment dreaming of a busy social space. I am planning to coordinate an artist-in-residence program at Pocket Utopia. For artists that have a portable practice, either drawing-based, computer-derived, or some other format that is well suited for a table. I am going to have the table in a designated area specially for them.

The designated area will be painted a different color than the rest of the floor. Having a cordoned off area makes it clear that the artist is working there. A defined working area is important, especially for the post-studio artist like myself, and I'll be inviting other post-studio artists as well as visiting artists for this program.

This weekend in VA/DC at my sister-in-law's house, my mother-in-law threw out my "fold" drawings, and it was really the first time that I didn't clearly demarcate a workspace. Another lesson learned in this post-studio journey. I love in-laws, for they make you stronger, and having to always define your work and your work area makes you really strong. I would go so far as to say it makes the work stronger too.

Pictured above, 2 years after deinstallation, a shadow remains of my social sculpture"Dreamer: an Eyrie Perch" that was installed at the Corcoran for their 48th Corcoran Biennial in 2005. A space still demarcated, maybe I should work there next time I go visit in-laws!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Drawing while driving

Camp is over, and I couldn't be happier. Good-bye nasty nannies and mean mommies! I actually got a lot of drawing done at camp and Grant did have a lot of fun.

Grant and I are in DC now (Mike drove the whole way last night). I am embracing my new work schedule that fully incorporates Pocket Utopia as a social sculpture. I'm working on my "fold" drawings today, Friday, and tomorrow I'm working on social space. Phase 2 of the construction on Pocket Utopia begins on Tuesday. And I guess we'll deliver work to our new and wonder Pocket Utopia collectors on Wednesday! Every day out of the studio means there's more art out in the world.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Excuse me, #7

Today is the last Wednesday of the month and therefore salon night or "Excuse me, you have art in your teeth," night. This evening's event will take place out at Pocket Utopia and will also function as a closing party for "Not Yet Utopic."

Today being Wednesday, it's also my day to work on social sculpture. I've redone my schedule of art-making to now include social space-making, which will fully integrate the Pocket Utopia project into my daily post-studio (and maybe post-gallery) practice. I'm dedicating the time and commiting to the space in order to really make it art (social sculpture) and therefore meaningful to me.

pictured above, from the show "Not Yet Utopic," Dana Gentile's Dreamboy 2007 6.5 x 11 x 1.5 inches mixed media collage, wooden spool and cigar box ($300)

Monday, July 23, 2007

A revolution in line (and hopefully in time and space)

Still in Ohio. We will probably leave tonight. Ohio is a place to be only for a very short period of time. I have redone all my lines, meaning I have taped up all my rulers and am ready to continue my summer of filling sketchbooks. With each altered straight-edge, I'll practice what Agnes Martin called an imprecise line.

Back home, I'll continue this investigation in impreciseness while I plan for a closing salon at Pocket Utopia and a little trip in Northern Virginia (more family). So there will be some car drawing in my near future.

Friday, July 20, 2007


I'm in Ohio (at the in-laws). There's a free bedroom here and I've set up shop in it. Upon arrival, this is a perfect free space. Before leaving New York, I packed up all my rulers and an adequate palate of pens and pencils. I am ready to work away (and away from New York for a few days).

I was feeling dystopic before leaving, like life was about suffering, but not anymore. It's amazing what a few miles of asphalt under your tires can do for your well-being. Maybe I'll nap. Grant is playing with the dog. Mike is drinking beer. My drawing notebooks are open and breathing.

Ever since I started doing drawings in the waiting room of my dentist, I've been carrying sketchbooks and pens and pencils with me everywhere. I've been filling them up every free chance I get; at the playground, on the subway and while Grant is at camp. I don't know what took my so long to develop or rather adopt an on-the-go drawing practice, but it really suits my post studio situation.

The daily drawing (also a good way to entertain Grant while at a restaurant or similar environment) is allowing me the possibility to built up my spare parts, which get assembled into more formal works on paper later. Filling notebooks with simple “unstraight line” drawings is also providing me the opportunity to reconsidered color choices and of course, to rework my lines, every page, at every free moment, is an experiment in a new lined space. So I will spend the next few days craving and altering my rulers to fill more pages, trying out new ways to draw and work. Free moments fill pages; free space in Ohio clears the mind.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Hitting a brick wall

What do you do when you hit a brick wall? Say, "Ouch!" Turn around and walk the other way. Clean out your purse, portfolios, sharpen pencils, plan new play dates, hire a new babysitter, edit, cut anything out of the schedule that isn't absolutely necessary. Continue drawing and maybe bake a cake.

It's crowded here at Jefferson Library. But I spot a pencil sharper and there's no more brick walls in sight.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Print project

We made it through another week of camp. Now Grant is napping and I am folding on the floor. I am trying to catch my breath from a week of making sure my 2 year old has the time of his life at camp and otherwise (potting training is going stupendously) and editioning my first Gocco print with artist Lucas Reiner.

Making the print, which definitely took a little trial and error, but turned out beautifully, felt like a really important thing to make. Three other artists (Brece and Rob), and myself, were on hand, assistanting Lucas in the production process. It felt great to work on someone else's art. It was a really fulfilling joint effort and the print is beautiful. Lucas Reiner will show at Pocket U. in October.

Monday, July 09, 2007


Spending both Saturday and Sunday out in Bushwick at Pocket Utopia has a strange and fuzzy anti-vacation/second home feeling. For it's summer and it's pretty quiet out there. I hang out, people visit, I think about art. Then I go back home to my clean apartment (which I usually tiddy up on Saturday mornings before going to the gallery). After the weekend, I am grateful to be home and I feel refreshed.

Weekending in Bushwick got me thinking in that "freespace" kind of way, for I don't spend a lot of money or other precious resources to get there and I am happy to get back home. Maybe we should think of our weekday homes as vacation spots, all cozy and quiet, and spend our weekends at nearby pocket places that might need a little improvement. I'm sure these places are all over the metropolitan area and accessible by public transportation. Spend a weekend cleaning a park, reading to children, voluntering at hospice, teach art, plant flowers down the street. Pick up trash. Go home and feel refreshed. Be on vacation.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Social space, sold

I made it through the rest of the week of camp and am spending the weekend in utopia. I was worried about going out to the gallery and being lonely, but nope, I open up and people hang out. We even made our very first sale! I say "we" because it seemed like a group effort.

One of my objectives, in opening (and the official opening is in September) Pocket Utopia, is to give artists the opportunity to be full participants in the current artworld mircoclimate. I believe, contrary to what Peter Schjeldahl might think we artists are not cows at a creamery. We own the barn, the gallon jug and the tractor you rode in on! So when a young, enthusiastic, knowledgable, passionate artist and art worker became our first collector; I saw one of my dreams of utopia start to become reality. Or perhaps, this utopia I am building is not a dream but a wide-awake work of art.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The day after independence

The day after the 4th of July means one more day before "Not Yet Utopic" opens at Pocket Utopia. A forgiving title for a very interesting and beautiful photography show.

Today also means back to camp. On Tuesday, one of the other mother's told me that my son was happier when his dad was there. (Mike took Grant to camp last week when I was having gum surgery). She said he smiled the whole time with his dad. That didn't exactly make me smile. I'm really looking forward to camp today. After camp it's off to Pocket Utopia. Hey thanks Art Fag City for putting up Eric's images and plugging the show!!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Indoor and Out

I have an outdoor space, a little urban oasis, my own outdoor free space. The backyard of my apartment building has an outdoor space with lots of free internet! It needs a little work. And when it's dark I go back inside to the basement.

I've been working on the "fill-in" drawings (and the next Pocket Utopia show and looking at everything in the Pierogi flatfile). I am trying to redefine already defined space all around me. At least the pain in my gums is subsiding, a little.