A trip to Kosovo with my friend and colleague, Greg Milo, and 5 top notch students opened my eyes to warm people, chaotic infrastructure, harmonious religious diversity, tense ethnic subtleties. Spending time in a country that, to most, doesn't exist is like entering a Narnia closet. My experiences in Kosovo left deep impressions...but stepping back through the wardrobe I have a hard time articulating what I've learned.
Last weekend seven students from Hoban traveled with Kim and I to New York City. We walked through the city (over 38 miles in 3.5 days!), visited museums and galleries, met with Hoban alumni, played in Socrates Sculpture Park, met my sister at World Trade Center 7 and spent time at Brand X Editions and the Leroy Neiman Center for Print Studies at Columbia University. What a fantastic experience.
Students get minimalist with Dan Flaven.
Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens is free and open to the public 365 days a year. It was created by sculptor Mark DiSuvero, who has partially completed sculptures on location in his workspace.
At Brand X Editions, a print publishing studio, students viewed works by Helen Frankenthauler, Jeff Koons, Chuck Close, Alex Katz, Jennifer Bartlett, Howard Hodgkin, Leroy Nieman and many others.
At Porter Novelli, an international PR firm, students met with my sister, Melissa Taylor, to learn more about her job and to see the incredible view from the 36th floor of World Trade Center 7.
At the Museum of Modern Art we walked through galleries full of art history book material. Pollock, de Kooning, Warhol, Rosenquist, Johns, Rauschenberg, Krasner, van Gogh, O'Keefe...and on and on. It's almost obscene how many incredible works of art there are in this space.
A bonus was time spent with Hoban grad, Isabella Cardina. She is interning as a trend forecaster for the fashion industry. Isabella talked with our students about her job and what it's like to live in New York.
At Columbia University, the students spent time with Marie Tennyson, Doug Bennett, and Gregory Santos at the Leroy Neiman Center for Print Studies. This non-profit professional print studio works with artists like Kiki Smith, Thomas Vu, Sandra Sze, Jasper Johns and William Kentridge to produce limited edition prints using a massive offset litho proofing press, laser cutting machine, etching and litho processes as well as screen printing.
One really cool highlight was seeing a large scroll by artist Rirkrit Tiravanija. Two years ago on the printmaking NYC trip the students and I saw and loved this piece at the Print Out show at MoMA. Seeing it in the studio it was originally created in was a great "full circle" experience.
A few more outtakes from my visit to West Side Market. I tried to avoid falling in love with photographing items in the display cases...but it was so hard! Reflection, glossy stuff, textures, colors and repeated shapes...all of the things I love in a composition were just waiting. But, by looking up and around a bit I was able to find some other gems.Read More
On Saturday Kim and I spent some time at West Side Market in Cleveland. With a small group of Hoban photography students in tow, we were looking for photo opportunities instead of purely searching for tasty goods. Here are some people I encountered...Read More
Jonny and I ventured out to the Buchtel High School football field to get a closer look at the snow rollers. They are pretty amazing little structures and are quite rare - need perfect weather patterns to form.Read More
Kim, Jonny Freckles and I spent the weekend in Hocking Hills exploring the snowy trails. What a beautiful, silent, crisp escape.
I love everything about woodgrain, especially the time it takes to wear down the soft parts of a piece of wood to reveal its texture and pattern. It highlights the unpredictable beauty of decay, something I am drawn to in urban environments as well.
More selections from our 4,500 mile 2-wheeled voyage to the desert southwest.
Kim and I recently rode our motorcycles from Akron, OH to Quemado, NM (with a side trip to the Grand Canyon). I placed my GoPro camera in several different locations on the bike and set it to take a photo every 5 seconds. Over the 17 days of the trip the camera captured more nearly 14,000 images. I'll string the pics together to create a time lapse video of our trip. As I sort through the images I've found some of my favorite stills...
Traveling by motorcycle is a sensual experience. Every temperature change, smell (which is sometimes so strong that you can taste it...example: cattle feed yard, and more positively, wild flowers), landscape feature and humidity level is experienced at a very base level.
It's also very physical. We rode for about 9 hours a day over a variety of pavement surfaces, through twisty roads and long, long straight stretches. Almost our whole trip was spent on secondary highways and backroads. For most of the trip it was in the high 90's to low 100's and very dry.
One of my favorite aspects of motorcycle travel is the connection formed between the rider and the bike. I depend on the bike for movement, safety, and relative comfort. After several hours in the saddle I was able to interpret its sound, the smell of the chain oil, and the heat of the engine as relative to its efficiency and performance.
Went on a Retread, Akron expedition yesterday to a local Akron landmark. I'm so in love with this part of Akron.Read More
Every time I drive down Euclid Ave on the east side of Cleveland I'm amazed by how uninhabited it appears. There are so many apartment buildings, restaurants, businesses and parks that are completely abandoned. Today I decided to get out of the car and take a look.Read More
Spent the weekend with a group of six screen printing students and an esteemed colleague in New York City. We visited the Met, MoMA, Whitney and Guggenheim. Walked through galleries in Chelsea and navigated security check points to experience the 9/11 memorial. Spent time with master printers at Pace Editions and Brand X.
The trip was fantastic and the kids were very...tolerant of my enthusiastic planning. It's so hard to read these youngsters. We experienced so many truly incredible things and it didn't seem to phase them. Were they displaying their sophistication through apathy? Upon reflection I had a small moment of insight: trips like this are a lot like Christmas morning. Ripping through carefully wrapped boxes, Grandma's tedious work purling and knitting isn't given a second glance when placed next to a new Transformer toy. I hope as these youngsters continue their art education they'll find value in this hand knit sweater.
Saturday in the motorcycle graveyard. Boxes and boxes and boxes of pigeon poop covered motorcycle parts. I can't express the simple joy of sorting through all of it. It's the freedom of not owning these partially consumed bikes and mostly junked pieces/parts...but being able to pick through the rubble to find the rare gem. I'm already looking forward to next Saturday.
Photographs from a visit to our industrial past.Read More
Spent the afternoon at Summit Machine to look at oil soaked lathes, bundles of ingots, scrap upon scrap...and to dream of new ideas. I spent some time with Angry Ron, an 84 year old machinist. He explained how the 5 and 6 barrel lathes produce parts for a variety of purposes. Today's project was to produce 3,000 ratchet parts.
While shuffling through the factory I was struck by a memory about my dad. Prior to my sister being born he studied engineering, a perfect fit for his detail-oriented personality. He ended up pursuing a life in ministry and has enthusiastically done that for the last 38 years. How things would have been different if my dad spent 40 hours a week with a micrometer in hand rather than serving the people of his community. My sister's birth knocked him off course from his chosen profession and right into alignment with where he was supposed to be.
Today Kim and I spent time at HGR Industrial Surplus on the east side of Cleveland. This place is a wonderland of grease, soot, and massive industrial machines. It's actually kind of like climbing into the Jawa transport vehicle in Star Wars...full of out of service droids and fascinating pieces/parts that you just can't imagine will ever go back together again.
I spent 12/31/12 on South Arlington with friends and competitors at Interstate77 Auctions. When I first arrived it looked like a church assembly. People sitting quietly, studying scripture (auction catalog). Soon enough the action started and the quiet parishioners came alive like a Pentecostal congregation touched with the Holy Spirit. Pastor Jim Stults (auctioneer) barked out prices, numbers, bids, exaggerated details and requests for more tea. Everything for one money.