During one session in 2015, my psychotherapist surprised me by saying I was a sex addict. I assumed this was due to my promiscuity and felt unfairly judged. When I returned home that evening I made a series of collages. This is one collage from that series.
When I look at this series today I ask myself a few questions: 1) Was I castrating the hot men I slept with? 2) Was I castrating my psychotherapist? 3) Was I castrating myself?
The images and the title of the series were found in an issue of Stallion magazine from the 1980’s. I purchased the vintage gay porn magazine at Circus of Books in Silver Lake, Los Angeles in 2012.
*Please note: The background paper is uniformly white. This image is scanned on a flatbed scanner and some of the background color may appear uneven due to the scanning process.
This handmade ceramic sculpture is various shades of blue with swirls of black, brown and red accents. It is made of stoneware and fired at a high temperature. The glaze surface is mostly matte with accent areas of gloss. The abstract organic form is inspired by my succulent garden and the beautiful blue sky outside my Los Angeles studio. I used slab, coil and pinch techniques to build this sculpture and the surface texture was created by pressing objects against the wet clay. Three different glazes were used to create depth and variation in color. The sculpture is signed and dated on the bottom.
Family Plot is a series of hanging abstract sculptures inspired by my childhood memories. I grew up in a suburb of New York City, the youngest of five siblings in an Irish-Catholic working class family. Both of my parents were children in The Great Depression. During World War II my mother was a teenager and my father served in the Navy. My parents were careful with money and liked to save things for future use, as many parents of their generation did. Our attic, basement and garage were filled with lots of random items: cases of toilet paper and soap, old books, clothing, papers, photos, furniture and more.
As an adult I have continued this pattern of saving things. Perhaps this brings me comfort. Perhaps this creates stress. This is an ongoing personal exploration. Much of what I choose to save has no monetary value- discarded socks, abandoned dog toys, scraps of wood and foam, sentimental gifts, impulse purchases from the dollar store. I have used bits of these castoff items as the underlying structures of the sculptures in this series. These sculptures have uniform exterior surfaces and unique interior histories.
My family home was neat and clean. All clutter remained hidden behind closed doors. The clutter I collected to build these sculptures remains trapped beneath a hard shell, a tough concrete exterior. All works are suspended from chains. Am I the tough one who is chained to my clutter… and also to my family? What lurks beneath the surface of these sculptures are family secrets whose meaning remains a mystery. There are clues, and some clues are more apparent than others. Family plot is family intrigue. Family plot is a final resting place, a burial site for members of a particular family. Family plot is emotional closure. Family Plot is a comedy mystery-thriller from my adolescence, the final film directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
Working titles of individual sculptures (pictured from left to right): Father, Son and Holy Ghost; Not in My House; I Promise Not to Tell; Imaginary Friend; My Sister the Saint; My Brother the Favorite; Unconditional Love; Don’t Rock the Boat; Mystical Communion; Speak No Evil; Happy Family; Dear Diary; Portrait of An Artist
Covid is shit. Californians are shit. I’m still trapped at home. Losing money. To make extra money I’m building a new online shop called Bad@Crafts. Stay tuned for the launch. Coming soon. Dear California: Please wear a mask. Please social distance. Thank you to my California friends and neighbors who are following Covid-19 safety protocols. Fuck you to all the other Californians who are not.
I’ve been organizing a weekly check-in for friends every Friday night since March 27. These recordings are a part of the KCHUNG.news project. Some of the chats are archived at Margie.LA and I will be uploading more soon! Please contact me if you would like to participate in the chats and I will send you an invite.
Sadly the ceramic studio has been closed since mid-March. I was just a few days away from finishing these two sculptures when we were ordered by the district not to return. The working title of this first piece was “The Doors of Perception”. Parts of the interior structure are visible through a series of openings. The title was inspired by the Aldous Huxley book about the author’s experiences taking the psychedelic drug mescaline. Some folks have said the sculpture reminds them of ant colonies. I thought it might be good as an outdoor garden sculpture – providing a safe shelter where bees could make their nests and breed. Maybe now once it’s fired and finished I will call it Girl Interrupted?
The working title of this piece was Binge. I was thinking a lot about Masoud as it was in the month of March two years ago that I found out that he had been dead for nearly three years. At that time I had just started taking classes at ELAC Ceramics. Same as when I was in my early twenties, working with clay helped me heal emotional wounds and transformed my life. Masoud loved the band Gorillas. We listened to a lot of Gorillas together and I never listened to their music until I met him. I became a fan. There was a young guy in the studio who was always playing Gorillas songs on his phone while he was working. The song To Binge is one of my favorites. It’s such a hauntingly beautiful song. Impossible love? Drug addiction? Cau-au-au-aught again. Maybe now I will title the sculpture Coitus Interruptus?
I ran into my ceramics teacher at Trader Joe’s the other day and he said that he would save my work and fire it. It’s possible that we may not be back in the studio until Spring 2021. Seems like forever. I also have 2 more completed pieces that have been slowly drying since December 2019. They are loaded in the kiln but have not been fired yet. I don’t have a photo of the pieces in the kiln but I have this photo from the day I finished building them. These are each around 40 inches tall. They will shrink 10 percent after firing. As of yet they are untitled. But just now in my head I hear the words Sodom and Gomorrah. So maybe this is what I will call them.
Many thanks to my ceramics teacher Chris Turk for all of his support!