Since my recent acceptance to Foundation OBRAS Arts residency in October, there has been considerable time thinking of how to spend the residency and deal with the issue of supplies and materials…and most importantly, concepts. It is understandable that this has to be a period of reduction and simplification. Simple shapes and minimal color with basic tools and materials. How do I tie this to my existing work? After much thought, I  have narrowed down my materials list and am doing preproduction and experimentation for the next month. I want to keep my process intact, but change the pictorial elements and drastically simplify the process. I needed a little outside inspiration. Instagram, Pinterest, and Saatchi Art have been excellent sources of research and further education. However the most stimulating ideas have come from the daily NY Times. Every day there is something on the front page (usually above the fold) that stirs me up and not in a good way. I wanted to take advantage of that emotional daily upheaval and incorporate it into the work. Certainly as the work develops, the reader will actually see the results. I'll give you a hint. It has to do with language. You can see first attempts by clicking on "words + pictures" in the menu to the left.
My favorite artists are in Germany. There is a post-cold war gravitas to their work that is painterly, emotional and smart. Germany is still full of abstract expressionists. They seem to have their home base at the New Leipzig school, which many think is the best contemporary Fine Art School in the world (apparently no grades and lots of studio visits.). I have been in touch with a couple artists there and also met a couple faculty members while teaching in NY. No, I do not speak German, but the highly educated Germans understand English. I have been able to see a couple teaching videos (multilingual) and look at an avalanche of work. I am wrestling with all the new information that has recently passed in front of me. There are so many positive things that will originate (and already have) from the OBRAS residency. And I have not even been there yet!
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