Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mobile Hanging Thingies

Randy Takaki who does the installation at the East Hawai'i Cultural Center is a master of his craft. He took the apparent chaos of Elfie Wilkins-Nacht's very prolific and abundant offerings and turned them into a very elegant and attractive show. My own pieces were problematic in that no one had ever come up with this format of hanging panels before. So I ended up hanging all of those myself. I think the end result is quite nice, although different from my expectations.

For one thing I had hoped all the windows of the room could be opened up to the wind and light, but unfortunately only one was made available to me, and we couldn't budge the glass. So in a land of beautiful breezes the room is stuffy and still. I am hoping to have a fan blowing on the hangings so they will spin as intended.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

On Trippiness

My friend Noe Tanigawa explained to me that a big criterion for her in creating artwork was the quality of "Trippiness." By this I think she means that visual fascination of a good LSD experience, or that otherworldliness we used to experience as children lying under the Christmas tree looking up through the branches with all the glitter and lights.

I decided to let loose with my inner trippiness in a collection of new works for an art show opening this Friday, July 1 at the East Hawaii Cultural Center. I have the small room on the makai corner of the building, while Elfie Wilkins-Nacht and the Hawai'i Photo Shooters are occupying the other galleries.

Most trippy of all are my spinning, hanging mobile paintings, done on both sides of wooden panels and suspended in clusters from the ceiling. The biggest are 18" across, and can work up quite a frightening momentum in a windstorm such as I sometimes have whipping through my studio. But in general they spin at a leisurely rate and one can enjoy a rippling play of light constantly moving across surfaces that have been heavily textured in modeling paste and then painted in metallic and iridescent colors. My favorite ones are the simplest, with brown and black shapes that recall African sculpture.

I'm also showing a pair of giant paintings with swimmers suspended among dolphins, or over coral formations, against a background of gleaming gold. I used a broom to create huge swirls of texture that illuminate and add an element of -- trippiness!

Also, finally, the (nearly) completed panels for my client on Kaua'i. I think having them formally displayed to the public will help me figure out what, if anything, needs to be done to finalize them. They are a sort of art-deco, socialist-realist fantasy recreation of a Hawai'i that may or may not have looked anything like this!