Thursday, February 25, 2016

Blinn Jacobs: Multiples and Modules

Gig, Drawing to scale, ink, graphite on mylar, 11x 17 inches 2016.

Gig. Installation progress #1.

Gig. Installation progress #2.

I make multiple drawings to scale with Faber-Castell Pitt Pens on Mylar in order to explore the module shape, configuration and colors I might use. Then I can use a selected drawing as a guide for the installation. The process of doing site-specific pieces requires me to think how the space is inhabited, how the scale of the piece fits into the space, how a person will look at it in terms of their position in space, and how the lighting affects the piece. I consider not only the wall/window but also whether to incorporate the floor in the installation by leaving the remnants from cutting the ribbon on the floor.  Another consideration is how these remnants engage people visually or physically.


For the most part, I use traditional materials, but I use them differently from their intended use, which is always an interesting challenge. For instance, when I began thinking of making large-scale wall drawings, I looked for a material that would work in terms of scale, color and application.  I decided on curling ribbon, which I have used for all my wall and window installations.  This material adds an element of surprise when you move closer to the installed piece and corrugations can be seen.

                      Gig, Fred Giampietro Gallery, New Haven, CT, Outside view.
                           Ribbon on window, 7.8h x 11.25w feet, 2016

Gig, Fred Giampietro Gallery, New Haven, CT, Inside view,.
Ribbon on window, 7.8h x 11.25w feet, 2016.

Gig. Detail.

Gig, a window installation at Fred Giampietro Gallery made possible by an Artist Fellowship Grant from the Connecticut Arts Council of the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and Office of the Arts (COA).


For the first time, I used equilateral triangles as the module for the Gig installation.  The triangles are proportional to the window frame the shapes occupy.   This installation took me four days with one assistant.


In all my drawings and installations, when two colors of ribbon overlap, besides creating a moiré effect, a visual mixture of color happens, making a third color. For example, the orange and green creates a yellow. The possibility of viewing the installation inside and outside, including reflections, was the inspiration for doing it on windows.

 Twizzle, Dublin Biennial, Dublin, Ireland
Ribbon on wall, 9.5h x 17w feet, 2014.

Twizzle, Drawing to scale, ink, graphite on mylar, 11x 17 inches 2014.

I used a quarter of an octagon as the module for the Twizzle installation at the 2014 Dublin Biennial, Dublin Ireland.  It took me five days with two assistants to make the installation. 

Gig. Takedown.

Blinn Jacobs studied at the Yale School of Art as a special student for four years and received her MFA in painting from the University of Pennsylvania in 1993.
Her work has been in numerous one-person shows including the University of Wyoming Art Museum, Laramie, WY; the Kunstlerhaus, Schwandorf, Germany; Fred Giampietro Gallery, New Haven, CT; Paul Mellon Arts Center Gallery, Wallingford, CT; Second Street Gallery, Charlottesville, VA; Chester Gallery, Chester CT and the Creative Arts Workshop, New Haven, CT.   Many group shows include the Dublin Biennial, the Florence Biennale, the Faber Birren National Color Show and the Painting Center. In addition, she has installed eleven site specific installations.
Blinn has received awards from the Farber Birren Color Show, the Slivermine Arts Centert and twice from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts. In addition, she has had seven fellowships from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts and an international residency at the Oberpfalzer Kunstlerhaus in Schwandorf, Germany.
Her work is in private and public collections including the University of Wyoming Art Museum and the city of Schwandorf, Germany.
Blinn Jacobs lives and works in Branford, CT.
She is represented by the Fred Giampietro Gallery, New Haven, CT


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Mike Iacovone: Drawing as Record

To reference my practice of drawing, I'd need to start with my understanding of what drawing is.  I see drawing as a record.  Including and beyond a record of what something looks like, or the representation of something.  A drawing is also a record of an event, or the mark made by an action.  A drawing is a reference, and not confused with the actual thing it represents.  Like listening to a vinyl record is understood as a recording of musicians, and not confused with a live performance.  A drawing is a reference, or a vehicle to get us to consider the subject of reference.  

So, that being said, when I show my work, I'm actually showing a record of my work.  To explain that further I need to first explain my process and ideas.  I make work that's about moving through space, and experiencing spaces based on systems.  For example, I'll decide on a topic I find interesting, like the US/Canadian Border, or the Mason Dixon Line, or the Berlin Wall and I'll study the topic and look at maps.  From there I'll devise a system to experience the space that my topic occupies.  The system will be a rigid set of rules used to both move through the space, and document the journey without making aesthetic decisions along the way.  

To give a solid example, I decided to follow the Mississippi River from beginning to end.  In studying maps, I found that there were 125 bridges that cross the river from a wooden foot bridge the spans a small stream flowing out of Lake Itasca in Northern Minnesota to the expansive six lane Crescent City Connection Bridge just south of New Orleans.  I also found that the Mississippi River is a border between states for the majority of its 2300 miles.  So I made a set of rules to create a drawing that traces the Mississippi River from end to end as closely as I could while also staying in public space.  I also decided that I would cross each bridge to create a sewing-like in-and-out line.  Since crossing the bridges would be as close as I could get to actually crossing the line the river makes, I chose to shoot video of each bridge crossing, and edit all 125 videos together to make one video documenting the bridge crossings.  The physical representation of this work was a 24foot long map documenting the river, all the bridges, and the entire route I drove for seven days to trace the route.  Finally I decided that I would take on the same job that the river has, and I took water from the beginning of the river in Minnesota, and delivered it to the Gulf of Mexico.  My drawing is a record of a GPS drawn line tracing the Mississippi River.  

<iframe src="" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe>
<p><a href="">the beginning and end of the mississippi river</a> from <a href="">Michael Dax Iacovone</a> on <a href="">Vimeo</a>.</p>

To give another example, I created a video in the Arctic Circle called Arctic Line Drawing.  In the Arctic most of the islands are international territory, so there are no borders.  There are no fences, no buildings, and very few landmarks to delineate space.  In the summer the sun doesn't set, so it's very difficult to gain baring on which direction you're looking in.   The only constant is the horizon, it's the only tangible line to trace.  In this video I trace the horizon with my video camera in the first motion.  All of the other side to side motions are an attempt to trace my own drawing path across the horizon as closely as possible.  The result is a layered video as a record of the horizon drawings and my drawings.  

<iframe src="" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe>
<p><a href="">Arctic Line Drawing</a> from <a href="">Michael Dax Iacovone</a> on <a href="">Vimeo</a>.</p>