Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"Art by Attrition" Opens

Art by Attrition
Featuring work by:
Teresa Faris, Julia Harrison, Shinji Nakaba, Jon M Ryan, Emily Watson, Hiroko Yamada

KOBO at Higo
Openings Friday, May 27, 5-8pm
and Saturday, May 28, 5-8pm

Even after all these years, the process of carving still fascinates me. It's mysterious in a way that only something so simple can be. In essence, you just take away the material that doesn't belong, then stop when you see the shape you want: ta-daaa. But of course there's more to it than that. I love the tools and the tricks and the physical challenge, and I still get chills from the notion of extricating one form from inside another.

On the other hand, it's a totally absurd thing to do all day, attacking tiny pieces of wood with even tinier pieces of metal until my hands cramp and my butt falls asleep. Sometimes when things get tough (or when I breathe in too much varnish) my internal coach borrows Jesse Jackson's voice to bark out a kind of carver call to arms:
"You've got to negate to cre-ate! RE-duce to PRO-duce!"

When the owners of KOBO at Higo asked me to organize a group show for the SNAG conference, I decided to focus on artists using subtractive techniques to create jewelry and small objects. My hope is that the show will pique people's curiosity about both the technical and conceptual skills that working negatively requires. My ulterior motive was to surround myself with the work of other people crazy enough to create beauty by committing tiny, repetitive acts of violence.