Tilling the soil to cultivate young minds or some such thing. This was a fun project to do, despite the added stress it put on my busy behind. We only had a few weeks to come up with an idea and finish it, and being an artist I of course waited a week before I moved a muscle, but I did work smart and this came together very quickly. It's always better to regret something you have done then something you haven't done. But really, no regrets, the Little Free Libraries are a great cause, and a dose of art, craftsmanship, and reading into people's lives. Plus, it helps kids , which is easy to support. I made my own box for this using mdo plywood, a type of exterior plywood with a smooth paper facing to it. No grain! I painted it a blinding yellow color with a high gloss clear coat. Contrasting with that is the rough sawn cedar and the natural grass roof I put on. I carved the plowhorse out of cedar as well, which I was surprised at how well it carved, I anticipated a splintering disaster and a waste of $60 in material. I didn't turn the grain of the legs but drilled dowels through the bottom of the hoof going to the body to prevent the legs breaking along the grain. It has two threaded rod supports, I tried to hide them behind the legs and they're attached to a steel bar going under the grass. One rod is buried in his nuts and the other in his chest to hold him slightly above the grass so it has a chance to dry out after a rain or snowmelt and to help prevent theft.
The trim around the top holds the grass inside and has a place for water to drain so it's not just an outside bathtub with books. Work smart!
Carving nearing completion...
MAY 16, 1975
12" x 12" x 5"
This is my painting/construction/sculpture of the image on the back cover of the KISS ALIVE! album. The photograph was taken on May 16, 1975 at Detroit's Cobo Hall during KISS' Dressed To Kill tour. I spent many hours as a youth staring at this image among many other LP's. Back when it was fun to look at album artwork and wonder about things. There was something about the vinyl record format, the size, the feel of a double record, the artwork seemed more important back then. In staring at this photo I often wondered what it would be like to be there, to be present for what is now an iconic moment in Detroit's musical history.
My piece is trying to offer that chance, to be able to stick your face in the piece and simulate an experience that is only a moment in time. The lyric, "I Want To Rock And Roll All Night And Party Every Day", while maybe not a healthy way to live your life, it's at least a plan, an ethos. The fact that this photo was taken so long ago, has given me a lot of time for reflection, I myself have done a lot of meandering in life, and often wished I had a life plan in place. These burnouts holding the sign have at times had life figured out in ways that I had not. I heard that KISS sends a limo for them whenever they play in town. Thats a lot of fame and perks that resulted from a couple of pot smokers drawing and painting on a piece of paper. The power of art.
I designed the form in Autodesk Inventor Professional, a 3-d software program. I based it on a piece I had made a few years earlier that is made from a Chinese food take-out container.
I cut the piece using a CNC router out of a slab of mdf that I glued up. I finished it off with some cuts on a table saw. It is primed and painted and then clear-coated with a high gloss auto finish. All of this was done before I started painting the image inside. It's a bit like making the frame before you paint the picture.
This piece is being shown currently through September 12, 2015 at Inner State gallery in Detroit on Gratiot Ave. Unfortunately for anyone with purchasing on their mind, the piece was snapped up pretty quickly before the show even opened. Good news for me.
Me in Cleveland Ohio, I'm from Detroit and live in the Detroit area but went to school for a few years at the Cleveland Institute Of Art before I dropped out. This is me out in front of my apartment on Hessler on a recent trip to Cleveland where all my deep fuggin thoughts began.