In this series compositions were selected from segments of much more complex images that were left-overs from processes that were applied to other series'
Series Title: The Pictorial History of the Evolution of the Jazz Clarinet as ReWritten by Mint Romkey (A Tribute to Mezz Mezzrow)
Statement: According to Romkey, ornate silver clarinets were first used for afterlife jam sessions and precisely positioned in a circle around the sarcophagus of the ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Sanders (figs. 1-3). After many centuries, the instrument slowly evolved into a longer skin-covered tube with a carved wooden exit horn that assimilated the form of the hungry beaks of baby eagles waiting to be fed (figs. 4-6). Examples of this era have been found in indigenous burial grounds in diverse geographies extending from Melanesia to Oklahoma. Early in the 20th Century, the Euro-Futurist clarinet took on a stereo format and reflected stylistic elements of Socialist Constructivism as well (figs. 7-9). Finally, in the later 20th Century, clarinet design in the Amerikas became increasingly experimental while also appropriating elements from earlier diasporic cultures. The three examples posted are based on; Pacific West Coast iconography (fig.10), West African use of gourds and bamboo (fig.11), and classic illustrations from the great Dr. Seuss (fig.12). Figures 13, 14 and 15 are detail shots.
In my mindset, ART is a verb. I make stuff but I focus on the making. I refer to exhibited work as Aesthetic Surplus; the leftovers from the act of making. Certainly these resultant objects can be provocative to observe, yet their essence or soul or magic resides within the relationships between the maker and the technical and conceptual processes employed during their making...occasionally transferred to the viewer.
hyBRIDge merges the words hybrid and bridge and refers to this series of digital prints that began with a traditional mortise and tenon covered bridge my brother Bob designed and constructed on his property in Croghan, NY. I lent a hand in the construction and took a couple casual photos of it. The photos were then digitized and complexly manipulated, and then printed. Conceptually, the result is a 2D quasi-photographic representation of a 3D structure that does not exist, yet whose elements are directly and literally derived from the original physical structure.
7 archival inkjet prints on textured fine art paper, each 24'' x 24''
The inspiration for these prints actually came from a quilt my mother recently made me. She used a traditional technique called wak n stack wherein a section of a printed fabric pattern is cut into 8 identical squares, stacked, then cut into pie triangles. One stack of eight identical triangles then gets reassembled into a new pattern, as do the other 7.
This re-juxtoposition of pattern produces a dynamic movement that varies greatly from pattern to pattern while the consistency of the original pattern remains evident.
After many experiments using this process in Photoshop, I settled on two high resolution scans...one of my left ear and one of my right. While trying to maintain the integrity of the original indeterminate result, I limited modulation to the border transitions of the triangles.
Although conceptually a bit tongue and cheek, these works have a surprising and very serious integrity when in a formal setting. I enjoyed watching people move toward them hoping to enjoy the tranquility of a mandala or the beauty of a flower...only to jump back when they recognized...ear hairs...then gradually re-approaching the images as though the hair had transformed into something...at least a little more palatable.
Garden of Entropic Delights
In the Garden of Entropic Delights
Nature is geometry in chaos. Living is an effort to create structure from chaos. When life becomes too structured, I seek chaos. When life is too chaotic, I seek structure. Reflecting such neurotic factors, these images were composed by processes that pit structures of logic, indeterminacy, algorithmic modulation, and intuitive reasoning against each other…often in ways that re-establish a disconcerting but familiar (dis)harmony.
Ontologically, all the raw imagery derives from scanned bio-forms…mostly coconuts with a few elements from my head and ears, and also a banana stalk and ti leaf thrown into the mix.
The dome series started out as a spoof on aging, but as I worked with the images, I began to actually think I was making art.... and enjoying it!