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December 14, 2006

Untitled 1



Untitled 2



I'm a Stomach. I eat.









An Artist Statement of Sorts - Sarah Vanphravong

As an artist I am constantly thinking about new ideas or ways in which I can approach my artwork. I identify with the ability to use something one is very passionate about to speak to the world. To be able to find a language to say what you mean and to have others identify with what you are expressing is a powerful thing. Art is incredible because it is a form of communication that everyone can understand regardless of cultural limitations. Because of this I know that art can make an impact, and I am careful to be deliberate in what I want to say in my work.

Often I find myself in the situation where I am obsessed with every little detail. Even if I find that I am no longer inspired by the art piece I am working on, obsessive compulsion keeps me moving. I might not feel as strongly about the piece as I progress, but the compulsion drives me to continue until I get something I like. I believe in working through things until they are acceptable, what’s the point in starting something and abandoning it the moment things don’t go your way? There’s nothing to gain from that approach.
I consider myself a “visual interpreter?, the things I see become subjects of my work. I have never felt that I possess the ability to properly articulate the things I think through words. Just like anyone else I react to the things going on around me, but I choose to do it through art. A large portion of my work is based on human emotions, ones that I feel or ones that I see other people go though. I am of the opinion that emotions are a very concrete way of connecting with people; if you have empathy you can identify with whomever you meet.
I very much dislike when people ask me what kind of artist I am. As an artist how can you grow if you limit yourself to some label such as “painter?? I view being an artist as a profession that has no limits and there is a constant need for exploring. You will never know what you like or don’t like until you try them out.
A particular theme that reoccurs in my artwork is the idea of mediating inside and outside. I am interested in how our exteriors influence our interiors and vice versa. It appears to me that often we take very important things for granted. What I’m really after is exposing the things that we often take for granted. We live in a world where we make things much more complicated for ourselves than we need to. It’s so easy to lose sight of the small things in search of fulfilling a bigger picture.
I’ve also been putting a lot of consideration into how to interact with the viewer. When one has been trained to look at art a certain way, how does one unlearn it and look at art from a viewpoint of someone not educated in the arts? How can I speak to my audience if I don’t know how they conceptualize my ideas? I made a series of paintings based on my interpretation of a song. Using watercolor, I’d paint my visual interpretation, and take a photo as I went on. The idea was to get photos of the paintings as they progressed, this way the viewer could see how I work as an artist. Paintings don’t just appear, there’s a process and most people don’t know what the process is unless they’ve done it themselves. Once the paintings were complete I took the photos and timed them to progress as the song progresses. I’d like to go on and do this with different mediums. Progression as an important thing. I hope to continue to grow into an artist who is able to connect with an audience and have that audience take something away from my work.

ecphrasis - Maria Stracke

The stuff I am working on right now is about myself and about the past and about personal past. I feel that all art is a part of the past and apart of the past and that history is always interconnected with what is being made presently. I think that history and historical literature and art is an important influence in what I like to make. I'm not completely sure what is important about history, whether that be an individual history or a collective one but it is constantly being recreated and put into narrative form for a reason. It is impossible to ever know what things were like in the past and maybe that's why it is still prevalent in the present. And I don’t know if it is really important to know what the past was like but I am very curious about it, especially visually. The visual culture of the past is very interesting to me. I'm also interested in bookmaking and in making a flip book out of some of my drawings. Erika gave me this idea and I think it is a good one.

I am working on a painting right now, which may become a series that is a painting of an illustration from a series of books of and about Edgar Allan Poe printed in 1902. I am writing a section of a paper on an Edgar Allan Poe story "Some Words With A Mummy" and because what I am reading always influences what I am drawing or painting I have used this illustration as a starting point for a life project I am working on. I found doing this painting to be a way to explore the written text in a different way. Literature is very connected with my work both literally and more conceptually. I believe one of my greatest influences and what interests me the most is literature. The ties between English and art is critical in what I'm doing and I am always interested in exploring the overlap between two and in figuring out more about the relationship between word and image. As I said before, I am attracted to the actual physical nature of old literature in the form of books as well as the stories they tell. I find ideas in looking at the art that was incorporated in the printing of antique books, such as the sketches that are often included throughout a novel or designs at the beginning of every chapter. Because I feel that bookmaking was more of an art form in the past I enjoy literature from past centuries in a way is deeply imbedded in history. In this way, a book functions like the paintings or drawings that I find influential.

December 13, 2006

Peter McLarnan

Image 1: Make A Wish-They Had It Coming...Text

Image 2: Make A Wish-They Had It Coming...


Paul is walking along the sidewalk, wearing his overcoat with his hands in his pockets when he passes an alleyway. He turns his head and looks into the alley as he slows his steps, and stops. In the alley, he sees several men assaulting a man who is already on the ground. Paul stares into the alley.

The three men take notice, and leave their victim.

They walk down the alley towards Paul.

Paul enters the alley and walks towards the three approaching men. They are holding pipes and sticks with arrogant menace.

As they near each other, Paul stops walking. The men stop walking also. They are in a showdown.

From his overcoat pocket, Paul quickly draws a pistol. He fires on the men. He shoots down two of the men, while the third runs back down the alley away from Paul.

Paul chases him down the alley. The man begins to climb a fence.

Paul aims carefully, and shoots the man in the back. He falls from the fence.

Paul backs away slowly, in fearful, prideful awe of the consequences of his actions.

He turns and runs out of the alley.

Image 3: A Videographic Catalogue of the History of Irish Misery*working title

December 12, 2006

Image 1


Make A Wish-They Had It Coming, They Never Should Have Fucked With Me, or Mournful Acceptance
Still frame from 6 channel video installation, 2006.

Untitled 2, 2006



December 9, 2006

Image 2

December 7, 2006

Image 3


A working series of over 300 photographs of uniform composistion, documenting my Grandfather's collection of VHS and Beta tapes, recorded over twenty years.

December 5, 2006

Jessica Driscoll

My artwork is influenced by astronomy and observations of my personal feelings of disconnect between the natural world and myself. Ideas that are at play in my work are interconnectedness, impermanence, and space and time. I depict processes such as the transformation of energy, elemental/ molecular connections and multi-dimensions that make up our evolutionary reality. I try to draw awareness of the interconnection and impermanence of our existence through printmaking and allow for an open response to the ideas that are conveyed through my prints.

We have evolved in such a way where consciousness has become a unique characteristic of our species. We have the awareness that this existence is impermanent and are periodically reminded of the uncertainty. I find this understanding to be a complex burden/ gift and find comfort in the scientific theory that energy never dies but is only transformed. I respond to those ideas/feelings and depict the elemental process that connects. These ideas can be grounding and disconcerting at the same time producing feelings of beauty and anxiety.

Artist Lucy Lippard states similar ideas in her article entitled Lure of the Local, “No matter how far culture will go to destroy its connection to nature, humankind and all of our technology, good and bad, are inextricable parts of Nature- the original determinant, the mother and matrix of everything that all pervasive structure that lies beneath […]?. Lippard articulates ideas of connection/disconnection/interconnection and stresses the underlying matrix that connects us all. The ideas of connection/disconnection are current themes in my own work. I have personally came to the conclusion that although we are made of similar elements as nature, our modern contemporary life has led to a separation and isolation from community and nature, where ideas of nature and it’s inherent resources (spiritual/ not finite fuels) has seeped out of our consciousness.

I am also influenced by organic, awkward abstract textures and shapes that I find in the everyday such as oil leaks on the streets, decay on buildings, water spots in dirty sinks, floor grain, stripped paint, rust and more. There is beauty in these organic remains and I try to reproduce these randomly found qualities. Artists such as Julie Mehretu, Helen Frankenthaler, and Eva Hesse who have used abstraction in original and dynamic ways have been influential. Frankenthaler also mimicked these organic characteristics; the ease of the color overlays in her woodblocks was influential in the choices I made when first making combined screen and woodblock prints. Eva Hesse’s drawings and fragile sculptures were influential in that she has uniquely created very awkward compositions and line quality within her drawings, whereas her sculptural pieces made of latex are light, extremely fragile, and delicate. I personally try to keep some awkwardness in my own line and continue to create a unique language with my drawings. I also try to keep my prints fragile, spacious, and delicate- intentionally leaving space for the viewer to contemplate the image and have a space to breath. Later on in my art making experience I discovered negative space, worked my way out of the square format and simultaneously discovered Julie Mehretu. What I admire about Mehretu is her layering and ability to achieve a sense of depth that I struggle to obtain as of yet. I also appreciate her varied lines to create a feeling of movement and space.

I currently use screen-printing and lithography processes to create an image. I prefer the way that screen and photo-litho in particular translate my fine line drawings. Each pull with screen or a run through the press is like layering another dimension to the work and can be seen as an analogy to the larger themes in the subject matter of my work. The inherent nature of layering within printmaking allows me to build the space that I so desire and that I find necessary in my image making, layering also creates dynamics in a two-dimensional space.

I am attracted to printmaking because of its physicality and the infinite possibility of combining processes and layers. Prints sit in-between a lo-fi aesthetic such as street art, posters/flyers, and the dissemination of information but can also be viewed as a limited edition fine-art object. I find this time to be an exciting one where what defines ‘art’ has become blurred in the realm printmaking.