For the first time in our relationship with our Mentor, we were able to visit his studio.
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
I was very curious about where his studio is located and what it looked like — like everyone else in our group, of course. This morning, I received an email inviting us to the location, which is in Midtown. We were lifted to the fifth floor of one of the many nondescript office buildings in Midtown — much like the New Art Center gallery was upstairs in a building on 38th Street and 8th Avenue. In fact, this place wasn’t very far from that locale.
The studio was a nice size, consisting of two large rooms with high ceilings. One room was more “office”-like, with a long desk and shelves that ran the length of it. There were also two desks and other mundane office equipment. The other room featured a tall, broad window to the street and two lengths of walls, over which our Mentor had fashioned blue tape to test out sizing for his new projects.
I was excited to see a work that the man had done, which points me to the direction in which I hope to go. I could tell from its edges that it was a digitally printed work on canvas, but that the artist had also painted on top of the canvas. I was thrilled to see this, as it seemed to give me permission to make paintings in a similar way. I tried to get information from him about the picture, but he was a bit cagey about it. It turns out that he wasn’t pleased with the painting, so far. I really didn’t care about that, but I wanted to find out exactly how he did it. Unfortunately, his dissatisfaction with the picture seemed to dampen his enthusiasm for talking about it. I tried to get as much as possible, and it was almost enough, although I could copy exactly what he did if he had told me.
After the studio visit, we walked to a number of public “lobby” art installations. We saw works by artists such as Mark Bradford. It was interesting enough, although I was more interested in talking to him about his thoughts around the “legitimacy” of painting over inkjet on canvas pieces.
For lunch, we went to a burger joint hidden like a speakeasy in a hotel. I’ll have to be sure to figure out, again, where this burger joint is. I actually think that “Burger Joint” is the name of the restaurant — one that looks like a dive bar while being in the center of an upscale hotel.
After lunch, I felt deeply compelled to leave and return to school. I shook my Mentor’s hand and told him I had to go back to school, early. On my mind was my installation for the first year show. I want to make sure that the three channel video installation looks as striking and provocative (and evocative of the feel of the videos) as possible. This means that I had to dismantle my current display set up and think about how I’m going to present the work, in the gallery at the school. Before that, I went to Best Buy to purchase monitor mounts.