Thursday, August 26, 2010

MCCLUMP: being very small


“One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small..”1 When Alice was tiny she’d get along quite well with the works of Charles LeDray! His works in many ways are all about dimensions, small ones, but considerably more. New York based LeDray creates perfectly scaled objects from incredibly detailed clothing to a really wild range of ceramic vessels.

His most recent work in his survey show at the ICA in Boston is Throwing Shadows, 2008-10. This is, in many ways, an unbelievably complex work that features more than 3,000 vessels around 2” high made from black porcelain. The works are arranged on a large, rectangular, white surface enclosed in glass with multiple light sources casting overlapping shadows. As much as I tried it didn’t seem as if I could find any two alike! The details on these pots were obsessive to the point where he may need help…! The overall effect is very disconcerting as if one was 25’ tall looking down and in on a display of actual vessels.

Charles LeDray, Throwing Shadows (Detail), 2008-10, Courtesy of the artist and Sperone Westwater, New York.

He showed three other similarly sized works of these types of ceramics displayed on a stacked series of square glass shelves with steel supports, each about 3’ square standing a total of around 6 feet high, these though were in full color! One was Untitled, 2002, glazed Ceramics. Again each one looked unique among thousands. Here was a very wide range of shapes, round, elliptical, spotted, wavy, some with loops and handles, others with spikes. I saw a number that looked like miniatures of ones I am convinced I have seen and handled before! Once again his distinct skills for the creation of these was fantastic. I was consistently remarking, “How did he do that?”

Charles LeDray, Untitled, 2002, Sperone Westwater, New York.

LeDray’s skill and vision is by far not limited to the ceramic medium. He showed many other scaled down objects from furniture, to intricate structures, various multiple arrangements and lots of clothes. One of the primary pieces in the show was Men’s Suits, 2006-09, shown here for the first time in the U.S.A. In a separate gallery were three scaled tableaux of sections from second hand clothing stores, maybe at ¼ scale. We are looking down [again] into the store in two and the storeroom in one. We are seeing these from above the suspended ceilings; years of dust and grime are obvious on the top of the hanging tiles that could only be seen from this vantage point. Just one example of his unwavering eye for inclusion of details. Everything is scaled down, the racks, the hangers, light fixtures, tile flooring and the amazing clothes of course. In the storeroom there is a canvas cart full of jumbled and unfolded clothes just as one might see in the back of such a store.

Charles LeDray, MENS SUITS (installation view), 2009. Courtesy of the artist nd Sperone Westwater, New York. Photo: John Kennard.
LeDray’s work goes way beyond scale. One of the aspects of many contemporary works I have seen is just about scale such as wall size photographs that while massive have no substance other than their size. Charles LeDray scales his objects down but instills in them a communal meaning; an inherent quality that speaks to the obsession modern society has with possessions and the acquiring of more “Stuff.” One comes away thinking about what it means to have all the objects many of us have in our homes and questioning the need for so much.
1 White Rabbit, Grace Slick, 1965-66

WORKWORKWORKWORKWORK Charles LeDray, at the ICA – Boston till October 17th.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Minolta '76

Her "Alter Ego" in a Black and White sector

I've been playing around with my mom's old Minolta SR-T 202 for the past three months. My weekly routine has turned into a series of outdoor photography shoots (due to a broken flash and a strong dislike for artificial light) with living or non-living things. My picture taking adventures are followed by a trip to the local CVS photo lab where my friends, Mark and Tim take charge in printing. Once one-hour has passed, we spend time and go over the film: what worked with color, where focus was beneficial and how the subjects responded in the prints. It has become my new hobby that I would now like to share with you. All pictures will be posted on a separate website within the next month or so...


Lady Gaga channels iconic looks in Show Studio interview

Fashion website 'Show Studio' featured Fashion Director and staged journalist Alexander Fury interviewing the futuristic and culturally evolving fashionista/performance artist, Lady Gaga. What I found most intriguing was the production and setting of the two hour questionnaire. A black back drop, two rolling chairs and side table (for the musician's intricately designed tea cup and saucer) created a chic, intimate feel, as if you were sitting alongside your friend in a studio engaging in conversation full of thought, interests and laughter while also thinking to yourself "wow, I'm in a studio with HD equipment and an audience of online viewers listening to me talk." It sounds like a dream, if you ask me.

There were no other colors removing the viewer from the content of the interview considering the artist herself was sporting a black metallic bra with a velvet cropped suit coat fitted to her petite frame. Red lips and nails polished off the overall glamour of the set. Not only did it add color, but it also directed most of my attention to her mouth: physically prominent and full, the controller of all verbal communication for a strong figure in music, art, and philosophy.

Furthermore, though famous for her corky wig choices, Gaga seemed to be reliving moments of the past over any other of her looks seen before. Displaying a very retro short blonde do, I felt as though I was watching an adaptation of Madonna's 1980's "Truth or Dare" documentary or clips from Edie Sedgwick's "Poor Little Rich Girl."

It all seemed channeled from another era, consciously emphasizing the timelessness of these fashions while synthesizing her own attitude into a combination of stylish appeals. But instead of addressing the overall aesthetic as "unoriginal" or "already done", we should consider how our individual fashion sense relates to past decades. If we can be inspired, why can't she?

Plus, I wouldn't mind wearing a black bra and jacket out in public. We must embrace the cycle of fashion and continue to be inspired by those who aren't afraid to re-make statements into their own.

Watch interview here: