Sunday, August 31, 2014


Between gravity and suspension

On any given day

Permanent Impermanence 1

The Transcriber Speaks

Saturday, August 30, 2014

connections, a list

After Modernism
Two by two, hands of blue, Ani- look up statement
The floor, masculine,feminine thread
Folding laundry, women’s work, mothering
Red, primary, words
Orange square
New foundation- the right touch and color (different backgrounds)
Blurring, breaking the grid
Bed sheets, shifting folds, shifting patterns
Review, white on white
DO NO HARM (Western Education, Boko Haram) Ali find, flattened pencil, run over by car
Ballot, Cast, vote, power, holding and claiming power- mother, varecha (wooden spoon)
Gun, Thought, understanding both

All there, suspended

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Uncomfortable with my skin

(left) Emily Orling's portrait, Gift Exchange, South Africa oil on board, 2004, (right) carved soap installed in public restrooms, 2014

I know this is not my war and I want to be mindful of speaking for others. (But the work questions the notion of the 'other'.) A child is dead, a boy of 18. Murdered, by the people given guns to protect. Left to die on the street, bleeding on pavement. I'm washing George off tonight, washing my skin.

Truth and Reconciliation must come to America. A great interview I heard on the subject:

(I just noticed my hands on the right of our blog. New meaning in light of Ferguson.)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

My MET Debut

I installed one Good Bar's amount of soaps in the Classical section of the Met yesterday.

I must paint the image on right in oil onto soaps, and re-install in every public restroom of the museum. Do you think they would accept this gift?


George as popsicle

Ali embodyment

Monday, August 18, 2014


George in pink, baby-food
strawberries, coconut milk and a touch of maple syrup

Sunday, August 17, 2014

blue, white and money green of George (possibly rainbow through other forms)

Fra Angelico blue (without the touch of yellow, the aqua)

context: US 2014
217 years after George's presidency, founding father of the US
Erasing him in order to cleanse one's hands from personal soiling
Not him as a human, but him as a symbol
him as a value of money
him as a symbol that can buy a commodity, in Nigerian context, a woman
in US context, keep women in slavery through child-rearing/home-keeping
him as not a representation of her

Soap is the color of marble
Painting of soap, the color of paper money, dark green
Silicone mold, food grade, (soap is not the only possibility)
it can be ice (clear)
fruit popsicle (for the kids consumption)

In another form, like food, there is a possibility for new meaning
Like licking and embodying George

Friday, August 15, 2014

meaning and context

What do these sculptures mean?
What are the implications?
What is the context?

There is something solemn about this piece for me. The phrase 'bearing witness' comes to mind. It is interesting to have such a sense of doubt and such a sense of curiosity at the same time.

Claire asked me questions about context when I was doing rubouts on the studio floor, in 2006-ish. She suggested that the title of each rubout refer to an event to give the image context.

As I write this, her recommendations can also be applied to this piece.

What comes to mind, now:

  • Ferguson 
  • Los Angeles 
  • Nigeria
  • Anitra
However, I'm sensitive about speaking for others, and feel like the above titles speak to something a bit outside of myself. What pertains to my own position, so I can speak from here?
Thinking of doing a mind map about this

Thursday, August 14, 2014

studio sketches, August

Last summer I sat across the studio from a huge, white painted square on the wall. It was almost the same color as the wall in general, but fresher, more crisp. It was where slides and videos were shown, and also reflected everything that passed by it: sound, light, dark, and shadows.
I slowly became obsessed with it: everything existed in that huge square for me.
I wanted to recreate it somehow in my own work, work with that amazing expanse of a form.

But I've never done that how could I start ... at all?

Today in studio, while working on a sculpture sketch using discarded wood from a house project, I caught these glimpses of perhaps what I could work with rather than the Big White Square. Similar to what I have already been working on - two aspect of the same thing in the same space - but only using the white surface to reflect what is around each piece: shadow, light, etc.

Then I thought: wow, big leap for me, but am I reinventing the telephone thinking I'm the first person to invent the telephone? I'm not sure if these are direct rip offs from Donald Judd and Sol LeWitt, or if these are translated enough into my own language to make them mine. It feels like a bit of both. And art belongs to everyone. I can make hundreds of these - they're made from wood we used to make our kitchen shelves. All the leftovers are right outside my studio door.



Site, after Robert Morris (and missing Blinky Palermo)
Oil on Canvas
5' x 6'
Detail of Morse code translation of
Ingrid DeKok's poem The Transcriber Speaks


There was a woman, whose work should have been in every pocket today. In 1932 she won the contest for the new quarter, which would be issued to commemorate the bicentennial of George Washington’s birth. However, Andrew Mellon, then Secretary of the Treasury, selected a design by competitor John Flanagan, largely due sexism.

George Washington Gold Coin
Laura Gardin Fraser’s design was not lost forever. In 1999 the United States Mint issued a gold $5 commemorative featuring Laura Gardin Fraser’s original design for the 1932 Washington Quarter. She however died in 1966 and never saw this achievement.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

This is how I read

this is how I read.

I carry a dictionary and sketchbook with me whenever I read anything.
The dictionary is to look up words I don't know, and the sketchbook is to record, to draw, to visually understand what I am reading. It's also been a way to unconsciously deal with anger and loss. 

I have always kept these sketches private, hidden them in flat files, judged them for not being something else, and judged myself for not being smarter, more intellectual, etc. However, at the workshop last summer, I understood them in a very different way. And since then I've tried to understand more deeply what they have revealed to me:  placing two aspects of the same thing in the same space.  basta.

nagae shigekazu: forms in succession

“this new series is comprised of various shapes, whether they be triangular, rectangular or hexagonal, that are assorted as sets, then hung within a kiln and fired accordingly. through kiln firing, the various curves and surfaces coalesce and unite in succession, thereby creating changing forms. such is my intent.

glaze is applied to each connecting part before firing. then the pieces are suspended in mid-air within the kiln. as the glaze melts through the kiln fires, it crystalizes into glass. thus what is left are “ceramic forms in succession.’”nagae shigekazu

nagae’s latest works, his first since 2005, test the limits of his ingenious porcelain casting techniques, and are the culmination of his extensive experiments and research into the qualities of both clay and fire. called tsuranari no katachi (forms in succession), they are essentially porcelain objects that contain individually casted porcelain shapes that are attached together. after each separate shape is slip-casted through a bisque-firing, they are combined by glazing the joints and suspending the work in mid-air within nagae’s kiln. as the glaze melts and crystalises in the kiln fires, the pieces are successfully attached. yet at the same time, the luscious draping and tapering of his organic curves are borne through “chance” natural kiln effects.
excerpted from ceramics now

photos via ceramics nowbarry snelson, and alberto andres

Friday, August 8, 2014

maybe this is the meat of it

Color- as oasis
Reflection - mirror as something one is used to using, but distorting reality, or re-presencing reality
Light and heat - materials of transformation: corrosive, preservative
pink and gold - chakra points



With red, blue, pink, gold

Fra Angelico Blue

I signed up for updates from Master Pigments years ago, thinking I would make my own paint using ancient formulas and techniques. Although I didn't, and still don't, make my own paint, I'm still fascinated by the process of mineral extraction, and transformation of one material into another.

Recently, they sent a video link on how they extract Lapis Lazuli to make Fra Angelico Blue.

I want.