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Staten Island, New York, United States

Thursday, April 7, 2011

In the Studio: Tweaking Tango Collages & In the Gallery: MAXIMUS/minimus

 I've had some nearly finished tango collages, a couple on wood and several on paper, that have been mocking me from the walls as I have been rushing around getting things arranged for MAXIMUS/minimus. I've managed to carve out a little time to work in the studio today, so it's time to resolve them.

Perversely, when I work on a slightly larger scale, 18"x24", on wood, my imagery gets paired down and I have been stripping layers off. I think it's because I am so in love with the pattern of the woodgrain. So, today, I am using a light hand to add the final touches to the piece at left. I thought I had finished this piece a year ago and had exhibited it. Then I brought it home and started to strip off layers.

When I work on my tiny collages, 8"x10", I pile on the layers of color and pattern. I'm not really sure where this collage at right will end up, but it's fun to play with, and it's a slightly different approach, so I think it will lead to a new direction. That's what I love about working so small, although I spend way more time thinking about creating each of these than you would think. It seems like the final touches, where the inherent logic of each piece is resolved so that it makes visual sense, just takes time, no matter the size. I make the small pieces expressly to sell. I want to work through ideas quickly, internalize them, and then get them out of the studio.  See more at my Etsy shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/DeniseMummArt

These two approaches to my own art are what led me to the title of the group show I curated, MAXIMUS/minimus, up now at ART at Bay. Here's an example of what I'm talking about from the show. Here, at left, Judith Hugentobler has a small figure, about 12" tall. Look at all that's going on in this piece; the texture, the color, the pattern and the expression on the figure's face.

Actually, most of the work in the exhibit is on a fairly small scale, with the exception of Irma Bohórquez-Geisler's gorgeous photos, which are holding down the MAXIMUS end. The exhibit has to be seen in person, since so much of the delight of looking at it is in the close examination of the details in the small work.

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