We live in these apartments (specifically these boroughs of New York City) in these spaces where we think, we make, it intertwines and affects us and our work. The places and spaces we dwell and reside in, the silent and safe corners, walls and ceilings become backdrops for what we do. They fade in the background becoming unnoticed and yet they are not neutral. Meld your work, your interests with this space. What is familiar to you? What is foreign? Take advantage of and highlight the fact that this space is not a gallery but rather has elements, many elements that are here and cannot be overlooked. Gallery space is meant to be neutral. Here the space is not neutral but rather will be part of the work, blurring the line between what is merely the apartment and what is your artwork.
This is part of the prompt I sent out to artists as I was curating the upcoming apARTment #1 group show. In developing Graft Art, I am not only continuing as an artist, but am also embarking on new territory, that of being a curator. As a curator one needs resources, others, essentially a community of sorts to pull from to create something. So for this first show, I have pulled together just some of the artists I know. Their work has placed an imprint on my mind and when germinating this concept of Graft Art, I thought of them. After sending the prompt and receiving their interest, each of these artists (and more) came over for a visit. Some measured walls, some laid on the floor observing the well-worn ceilings, some took pictures and became deeply intrigued by colors, objects, and structural oddities, while some asked me questions about my life there. Macklen Mayse, a performance artist who uses her body as material was intrigued by areas that had potential of her body interacting with in some way. In her proposal she wrote about space where she could "squirm [her] torso under the frame". I felt a sense of excitement from each artist as they came through because the apartment they were viewing was open territory and material offered to them for them to create with and to imagine something beyond its typical function. Each responded to a different piece of material, but all came with previous understanding of home, its constituents, and their own bodies of work. Laura Hinely, an artist who works primarily in photography wrote that she hopes to showcase "the "ordinary" or mundane, and hopefully causing a viewer to take a second glance at something they may not otherwise." Viewers are needed, you are needed to come and make the experience, the "second glance" as Laura says happen.
Check my next post to learn a bit about the other artists...for now view links to their websites in the Shows tab!