Full Piece (top), Detail (below)
Watercolor and gouache on paper
20.5” x 16”
Bill is depicted with his many modes of disguise. Outfits drawn from sources including Azealia Banks, Barack Obama, Dior’s fall collection, and some friends of mine.
Partial results on the list below. I modeled this dress on an expensive silk-blend T-Shirt I own. The T has an interesting half-circle yolk across the shoulders and a drape that I admire. I had no idea if the shapes would translate into wool, and into a dress, but I am happy with the results. I really love T-shirts.
Here are some items I want to make (in true pioneer fashion) while biding my time to get back to work on the latest painting. Putting myself to work in my own slave-labor sweatshop has been difficult lately, even after a trip to the multistory, tactile wonderland of Britex Fabrics to pick up supplies. The difficulty is in large part due to space constraints, as the painting panel encroaches on the sewing table, and bike storage overlaps cutting-station (aka the floor, which also requires sweeping). Making the drawing always helps the dream come real.
- A Dress
- Useful, non-scratchy pouch to carry files and pose as a “professional”
- A groovy pair of shorts cut from some rad salvaged fabric
I made a book of eighteen self-portraits drawn from life on Facebook. I combined drawings of my profile pictures with phrases that describe ideal characteristics and valued attitudes of the contemporary human. It is an exploration of the relationship between appearance and character, or the practice of physiognomy in our experience of ourselves and others. The purpose of the book is to challenge and celebrate the possibility of creating a sincere physiognomy, an external appearance that reveals the soul.
Be yourself, show yourself.
Confidence is king.
Authenticity is a skill.
Unselfconsciousness is disarming.
Clever and sincere.
Work hard, play hard. Die hard.
Ask for it.
It’s so you.
The summer when I was 13, my mom took me to Mexico for a conference on Permaculture and soil rehabilitation in the tropics. The conference was held on El Pardo, the ranch of Don Carlos Caballero in Tlaxcala, a heartland state of Mexico’s southern interior. Attendees included working campesino farmers, a young indigenous healer, American students, and agronomy professors from the US and Israel. I was there because my mom had been invited by an old friend from the ‘70’s, a Welshman who builds mud stoves for the global south.
While conference attendees smashed up cement-like tepetate soils left by erosion and learned about the magical partnership between corn, beans and squash, I spent my time in the kitchen with Marta the cook. She was married to conference-organizer Alejandra Caballero’s dashing brother, a tall indio whose dark ponytail and authentic workman’s clothing constituted an archetype of the hippyster countenance. He split his time between projects at the family ranch and organizing farmers in Chiapas to the south. The year was 1994, and some joked that he may have been the man behind the mask of Subcomandante Marcos. His dog, Duque, was a noble German Shepherd, as handsome as he.
Since I began watching AMC’s Mad Men in 2008, I have developed a strong identification with both the professional and emotional life of the protagonist, Don Draper. Watching the show, I am struck by the resemblance between actor Jon Hamm and the German Shepherd, both representatives of the handsomest breed.
Untitled Game. 2012. Oil on panel. 36” x 26”
I recently finished this painting and have been grappling with feelings that it is tacky. This tackiness compels me.