Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Mira's Class

Above image: Clown with Trumpet, from Alexander Calder's Circus

I've been having fun tonight getting ready for a talk with Mira Burack's soft sculpture class at CCS. Mira asked me to show them some of my work, some works in progress, some tools and materials. She asked me to talk a little about my process and methods, about collection and consumption (that's one of the things her students are working on right now.) Best of all, she suggested I bring in some pictures of some of the things that inspire and influence me. Oh, boy. This is where it gets really fun. In my head, I keep a running love letter to all the artists, known and unknown, who have made all the stuff that has fired my imagination and made me want to make things for as long as I can remember. This is a list that is never the same, and is always growing, but there are some artists who are always there.

Annette Messager

Christian Boltanski

Eduardo Paolozzi
I especially love the show he did at The Museum of Mankind in London, called Lost Magic Kingdoms. He worked with their collections and responded to all sorts of amazing objects with a series of collage/prints. I was immensely flattered when a beloved friend talked about Paolozzi in relation to my work.

H C Westerman

Jimmie Durham

Alexander Calder
I'm especially in love with Calder for the little circus he made out of all sorts of scraps and objects. Don't miss an opportunity to watch the movie of him playing with the circus, performing for artist friends.

Paul Klee
I was lucky enough to see some of Klee's puppets at the Neuemuseum in Berlin a couple of years ago. They really turned my head inside out.

Nek Chand


Gregory Van Maanen

Haida mask makers and carvers

Inuit mask makers

This game goes on and on. I never come to the end of artists who get me excited about picking up some material and having at it. Others always on my running list, who I didn't include for this particular talk (since it's supposed to be directed to a soft sculpture class) include Ray Johnson, Louise Bourgeoise, Martin Puryear, Henry Darger, Joseph Cornell, Betye Saar, Raymond Saunders, Jean Michel Basquiat, Kiki Smith and so many more. It never ends. I could be up all night thinking about artists and particular objects who make me want to work.

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