December 29, 2006



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December 27, 2006



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December 26, 2006



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December 24, 2006



Since the the Pop Stoppage Paintings' explanatory post has scrolled off the front page, here's a fresh link to Recycling Pop.

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December 23, 2006



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December 22, 2006



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December 21, 2006



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December 20, 2006



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December 19, 2006



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December 17, 2006

TINSQUO's Third Anniversary



Today, the third anniversary of tinsquo’s launch, seems a worthy – or at least traditional – moment to review some of the notable posts and developments of the past twelve months:

• A good portion of the year was engaged with the painting that would become Returning Wounded. The publication of the painting’s corresponding time-lapse video, prompted a leap into the wild, democratic bazaar of human expression known as YouTube.

• With the project Addressing de Kooning, I engaged in a little public service graffiti – posting informational plaques on the street recognizing Willem de Kooning’s principle New York City studios. The project was an education in what constitutes the public square in today’s Manhattan: light poles. The installations share space with van-for-hire ads, offers of Spanish tutoring and concert promotions. The surrounding flyers come and go, but amazingly – and in an inspiring example of civil civic discourse - the Addressing de Kooning posters continue to remain intact and unmarred.

• My magazine painting discipline experienced a spontaneous eruption when, out of the blue, the figure receded and in its place rose mountain ranges to the horizon. (This landscape emergence finds further articulation in the new oil painting rapidly nearly completion. Stay tuned.)

• Some of my favorite drawing titles: “outlier on the range,” “itinerant semblance,” and “gee willikers to power.” Another favorite, “premise en scène,” was a title held in reserve for years, but, as with the pop stoppage paintings, I no longer valued being a custodian of a taunting potentiality.

• For reasons that elude clarification, the drawing, “out and about proxemicist,” feels like a destination arrived.

• Word paintings (or what I call paintings – to date, they’re graphite on paper) had been a site staple the first and second years but went mostly mute during this last orbit. As concerns words, I guess, there’s been “nuff said.”

All my best to those of you who’ve written, commented and viewed tinsquo with interest these past three years. As to the future, the only thing for sure is that anything is possible.

Posted by mark at 12:44 PM

December 16, 2006



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December 15, 2006



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December 14, 2006



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December 13, 2006



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December 12, 2006



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December 11, 2006



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December 10, 2006



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December 09, 2006



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December 08, 2006



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December 07, 2006



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December 06, 2006



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December 05, 2006



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December 04, 2006



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December 03, 2006



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December 02, 2006

Process Post: Recycling Pop


Since 1999, I’ve been building and rebuilding a soda bottle ziggurat above my kitchen sink.

The recycling bins for the tenement building in which I reside provide a real-time archeological survey immediately outside my apartment door. Every time I emerge from my abode, I am greeted with a trove of nominally recyclable refuse. Sometimes, egress is impaired by these discarded scraps of what consumer culture can’t consume.

This bevy of abandoned raw material-at-the-ready is compelling for an artist/scavenger. The objects bear an aura of authenticity that comes from the absence of any presumptive claim of value – save for the street industrialists who ply in the refund trade.

I wonder if we will be known to future peoples by the objects preserved in our museums or the objects preserved in our landfills? Perhaps the distinction won’t hold. Will petroleum bottles – currently invisible on account of their ubiquity - be the defining pottery of our epoch?

My recycling bin "dig" began in a fit of pre-millennial fever when “magazine paintings” – like “custodian weave” – arose from a practice of using reclaimed magazine pages as a painting support. Liberating me from any stricture of perceived scarcity, these pre-printed pages presented a populated tabula rasa as the iconic “blank canvas” - a nod to neutralizing media overload through will and focus.

From such a perspective, two-liter plastic soda bottles also proved a fecund artmaking resource. In peeling off the plastic label I discovered the glue strip would resist, tearing in unpredictable, strangely graceful ways. The sharp line of the tear was like a Matisse cut-out born of chance akin to that of a Duchamp stoppage.

When glued onto color field paintings, these torn shapes were an inversion of the magazine paintings’ populated tabula rasa – here, it is the line that is populated with mercantile ephemera. In sum, this way of working yielded a complex visual image with minimal apparent effort, using the means available.

So seven years ago, I made a sketchbook series. I learned the nuances of different brands and the secret of “aging” bottles – weakened adhesive affects each label’s tear the greater the distance from its bottle’s vintage.

Tearing the label from its bottle proved meditatively integral to the composition process, so instead of merely accumulating torn labels I began stockpiling entire scavenged bottles – storing them “in-house” – atop the kitchen cabinets, eventually constructing an installation that reached to the ceiling and topped out at just under a hundred bottles. When Mayor Bloomberg halted (temporarily) much of the NYC recycling program, this pop bottle ziggurat assumed treasure status.


Then, as can happen, life intervened; time passed with no second series. Roped into place, the plastic bottle structure was an ever beckoning makeshift barometer - popping and groaning each time the radiator kicked on or the oven was in use.

At times the expanding bottles exerted so much pressure that they would break their bonds and fly, falling around the kitchen in a petroleum-laced avalanche. But I always rebuilt the ziggurat, knowing someday I would return to them.

Today is someday. I no longer value being a custodian of taunting potentiality. What will follow for the next few weeks are the chronological results of making this the right time to work through each vintage of my pop holdings.


Posted by mark at 03:42 PM | Comments (2)

December 01, 2006

November's Acrylic Palettes


Posted by mark at 01:32 AM