Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ending a Good Start

I turned in a draft of my graduate thesis documentation today. I spent the last week or so concentrating on writing. I'm sure I'll need to do another draft or two before I'm finished. I'd much rather be in the studio cracking out a few more prints.

A few months ago I gave Jon Casserilla a few old cradled wood panels. He painted on them and gave them back to me so we could do a collaboration. I never found the time to do anything with them until tonight. I spent about twenty minutes cutting up some old, mis-registered prints and laying strips down on top of Jon's paint. Sooner or later I'll give them back.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Eye Leveler

Above is an infographic I just made. It describes how to find the height at which to pound a nail when hanging a wired piece of artwork at eye level. The process goes like this:
  1. Measure the vertical length of the picture in inches.
  2. Divide this number in half and add 60 inches (standard eye level).
  3. Measure the distance in inches from the top of the picture to the taut wire and subtract that number.
  4. The resulting number equals how far, in inches, the nail should be from the floor.
In simple algebraic terms, when x is the vertical length of the frame and y is the distance between the top of the frame and the taut hanging-wire, the formula is 1/2x + 60 - y = height from floor. By following this formula, you'll end up with the center of your artwork at eye level.

Thanks to Michael Costanza for helping me clarify my algebraic formula. When I was a freshman in high school I had Shingles, a terrible affliction to the nervous system caused by varicella-zoster, the same virus that causes Chicken Pox. Besides being pretty painful, Shingles is very contagious, so I missed a lot of school. I think it was something like five or six weeks. I was a good student so I was able to catch up with most of my schoolwork pretty easily when I recovered. In Algebra, however, I never really caught up. That might have been because my teacher was pretty bad. Though she was tenured and, therefore, virtually bullet-proof, the next semester she was put on administrative leave and forced to take a few classes on proper teaching technique before being allowed to return to her job. I guess I also just never had a good head for mathematics. One thing I never learned was that, when writing a formula, addition should always come before subtraction. Michael cleared this up with some mnemonic device about his Aunt Sally. Anyway, I'm sure there are tons of other ideas about hanging artwork and algebraic formulas. Any more input or advice is welcome.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Untitled: I'm Afraid

Thanks to Jessica generously assuming the role of "artist's assistant" during her pseudo-vacation, I've been able to finish at least five prints since the last time I posted about my studio work. Thanks Jessica. Since I haven't scanned any of those prints yet I'm just going to include a poorly digitized picture of a poorly exposed negative I shot at the county fair a few months ago. Check it out below. In other news, Rhiannon Sallas is the Captive Werewolf for the second half of March and I'm doing my part to promote a national juried show being held at my gallery this summer:

The Intellectual Life Committee and the College of Arts and Sciences at Governors State University present A Whole New Mind 2010 – Brainstorm, a national juried art competition inspired by Daniel Pink’s book "A Whole New Mind – Why Right Brainers will Rule the Future." Art work documenting, analyzing and/or inspired by the intellectual activity, thought processes, dysfunctions, and/or problem solving capabilities of the human mind will be favored.

Susan Aurinko is a photographer, curator and gallerist for Coalition Gallery, Kemper Gallery IIT, and Prudential Plaza. In addition, Aurinko served as owner and curator of Chicago's FLATFILE galleries for ten years. An exhibition exhibition of her photography, entitled STILL POINT, INDIA, will open at Kriti Gallery in Varanasi, in 2010, and will tour India over the next two years.

Tricia Van Eck is Associate Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art. This past year she co-curated the Chicago presentation of Buckminster Fuller: Starting with the Universe and coordinated the Jeff Koons retrospective. She has curated and coordinated numerous other exhibitions for the MCA including Mapping the Self and Kerry James Marshall: One True Thing - Meditations on Black Aesthetics.

Submissions for this unique exhibition are being accepted from now through April 23. More information on A Whole New Mind, a prospectus and entry form are all available at

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Mike, this guy I've known since high school, is becoming a famous actor. You've probably seen him in those post office commercials where he plays the mailman who tries to sell customers on the idea of flat-rate shipping boxes. Lately he's been working as co-writer, co-director, co-star, co-producer and editor of a feature length horror movie, The Mole Man of Belmont Avenue. I'm pretty sure that he's doing music for the movie too. At least it sounds like him singing "doobie doobie doo" in the trailer. If you watch that trailer, right at the beginning, you can see the logo I designed a few years ago for his production company, Big Tree. Actually that was probably the last time we saw each other. I brought him the files and we had tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches at his apartment. Then we drove around and looked at buildings with apartments for let. Come to think of it, besides being the last time I saw Mike, that was probably the last time I had a grilled cheese sandwich. I'm pretty sure I made tomato soup at least once since then, though.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Yesterday this guy drove away from the gas station pulling the hose behind him. I risked my life to shoot eleven seconds of the incident as I drove past. Then I searched the internet for hours trying to figure out how to get Windows Movie Maker to accept the MP4 video format in which the new iPod Nano records. In the end, I had to download a file converter (Prism Video Converter) to change the MP4 into an AVI so that it would be compatible with Movie Maker. It seems like these tiny, pocket, digital video cameras are getting more and more popular so I'm not sure why Microsoft isn't making it a little easier for people to use them with its product. All I really wanted to do was edit off the ends of the video clip and slow down the footage so you can see the hose clearly. Anyway, I guess it is all worth it now, especially with Miles Davis' Birth of the Cool Theme playing over the top of the video.