The Studio of Eric Valosin

Friday, December 30, 2011

Oh the Places You'll Go

My wife and I decided to take an irrationally short, driving-intensive, 11 hour road trip to North Carolina to visit some friends.  We landed in Asheville, the self-proclaimed locus of the arts for the American south east.  I must say, it does sport an impressive array of galleries that feature both local and global artists, and some killer restaurants to boot!  And you can't argue with the transportation...

But in the midst of all of the wonderful art, I sometimes get the inclination to take note of all the things that are at least not intentionally art, but for all intents and purposes might as well be.  like this neglected, unprimed, stripped wall that features a "primed" poster in the Asheville Art Museum:

or this abstract expressionist/minimalist/simply-poorly-maintained pedestal just opposite the wall:

or this telephone pole:

Or my favorite, the bleacher seating of discarded studio chairs in the River Arts District:

All in all though, there were some great places worth seeing, especially in the River Arts District just outside downtown Asheville, full of open studios and personally galleries (that will shamelessly sell just about anything, right down to the very shavings of excess dried acrylic on a palette, glued to a block of wood, given a title, and priced at $95)

This last pic is in the studio/gallery of Jonas Gerard, a painter who's been working since the mid 50's.  He's currently doing a sort of abstract expressionism set to music, and upon entering his studio, sounds of a drum circle and harmonica came flowing out towards the street, as a dazzled and giddy 70-something-year-old danced with a rainstick.  Quite the experience.

I definitely encourage any passersby to check out what Asheville's inviting atmosphere and vibrant art scene has to offer, and while you're at it, stop in at Salsa, the "best restaurant in town" for some wonderful, unique mexican-carribbean food!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Whole New World

For the culmination of our Worldmaking class, we had an exhibit of all of the research, diagrams, writings, experiments, etc that went into the class.  This includes a great deal of the stuff that's been plaguing my conceptual imagination of late, so I thought it bears sharing here's my little installation:

You can follow the map through stages of experimentation from my Reality Recomposition Machine,  Time/Space Slicing experiments, diagrams and word lists, theses, and the application of these to the whole of my practice, resulting in the following VERY helpful diagram...  Iain showed us this conceptual flow chart artist Mark Dion developed that outlines the connections of the things he's interested in:

So following suit, here is my diagram.  Creating this was one of the more illuminating activities of my MFA studies so far, to be honest.

Oh so much more investigating to do.  But look at that: after all this, it does indeed seem like I have discovered a bit of the world my art has opened up to me.

Long Time No See

Wow, it's been a busy month, and I have so much to catch up on in terms of blog posts!  I'm told that's what finals season in an MFA program will do to you.  So lets try to bring some closure to some of the things I left hanging all month...


I did manage to finish that freakishly long Westfield mural for Trader Joe's.  Only after our regional manager pointing out to our store Captain that we didn't have enough Westfield related stuff in the store, speeding up the timeline for its completion significantly.  One of our other artists was assigned to help me get it finished, and contributed one 8 foot section while I finished up the remaining 40 or so feet, as hastily as I could to still make it cohere when viewed at a distance.  It then has been temporarily relocated to the opposite end of the store to fill in some space while what will eventually be installed there gets made.  Here are some pics (in various states of completion).
I'll get some shots of the whole shebang when it's finally installed in it's rightful place.  Less than half is pictured here:


I was also able to finish the painting I had been working on about "active passivity" and spiritual preparation.  Here are some shots of it being completed:

An interesting experiment; a sort of synthesis of Bruegel, Robin Williams, Hokusai, and my Archetype I.  I'm still working on a title... perhaps Journey to Tabor (in place of Hokusai's Fuji is Mt. Tabor, the alleged site of the transfiguration of Jesus, when his divinity is revealed to two of his disciples as hangs out with Moses and Elijah and he gets all shiny and holy-looking...)

There's more to catch up on, but I think it merits a new post.  See you there!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sight Seeing is a ...LONG Process.

As you may know, When I'm not pouring out my innate brilliance out all over a canvas (or at least pouring out the soupy contents of my mind as I try to figure out how and why to do anything on a canvas), I work as a Sign Artist for Trader Joe's in Westfield, NJ.  And I must say, I'm noticing a trend...

Our store is relatively unique in that we have 5 artists on staff, 3 of us working full-time hours (well, 2 now that I'm in school).  When I first started a little over 2 years ago, they had been talking about an mural idea for a timeline of the company's history.  Considering everyone's excitement over the project, I couldn't figure out why none of the 5 artists (or their predecessors) had ever taken it on.  But here came the new guy, and it would be time for me to prove my muster with this first mural project.

Then I found out why no one wanted the task - the dimensions: about a foot-and-a-half tall, by 70 or so feet long.  The location: on the ceiling.

Well, at least I got it over with, and, having proven myself, never again would I have to make another absurdly long and narrow mural, right?

Bingo.  You guessed it.  "Hey Eric, we need something to go in front where the Shaw [pictured above] used to be [after having been condensed leftward].  How about a mural of Westfield landmarks? Oh, and it should run along the bottom of the windows, but it can't cover the windows."

Dimensions?  1.5 feet tall, by 48 or so feet long!  Location?  Exactly underneath the first one!!

Here's the prep work.  Pinned to the wall (under the hamburgers.  don't ask) is a sketch, if you can see it, of what it will look like when finished (chopped into 4 digestible fragments).  For a sense of scale, The hamburgers are actual size (if you make hamburgers that are twice the size that they normally are...) and each of the longer segments on the table is 8 feet long.  There are 6 of those, total.  I'll post some more pictures as it gets underway;  I just started painting it today, finally.  A fellow crew member asked how long it would take.  Considering it's taking a back seat to whatever else they spring on me (during the busiest season of the year) I told her I'd have it done at least by the time I'm 45.

If you're in Montclair...

Stop by the MFA student Gallery (in Finley South).  My work is being shown this week along with  that of Kristen Brandoff, a very talented installation artist in her second year in the program.  It will be up all this week until Friday the 9th!

In the meantime, here's some underpainting of the next piece I'm working on to whet your palette.

More posts to come once I get out from under finals season.  I've got lots of thoughts... just no time to think about them...