Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What can a typewriter yeild?

As promised...I said I would show what became of that old Corona typewriter. Looks a bit different eh?

I've been on sort of a vampire theme lately. Perhaps because of my recent music acquisitions. As many of you know, I have some residual Goth-ish tendencies, and lately I have been listening to the Kronus Quartet playing Phillip Glass's new soundtrack to the Bela Lugosi Dracula.

Along the same theme I also purchased some nice little treats from Jill Tracy (a nice cabaret style goth), and she is great solo but she and the Malcontent Orchestra put together a soundtrack for the vampire films to end all vampire films...or to begin all vampire films...Nosferatu.

In any event the music seemed to influence the theme and the Rudyard Kipling book of poems "the Vampire" laying about, didn't hurt either.

So I entitle this new typewriter inspired piece: Blood Type.... get it? Okay bad pun.

Sweet dreams....

Friday, May 23, 2008

a few workshops on the horizon

Howdy gang...
a little biz to take care of...
I'm teaching some workshops in the the next few months that might be of interest to some of ya'all...(I just got back form the south).

Boston area
Absolutely Everything
Topsfield, MA
May 30th - June 1st 2008

I'm teaching "I want to paint like Mike", Morpheus Box, and Transparency Collage-seemblage

Stamp Act
Marshfield, MA
June 7th - 8th 2008
I'll be doing the gool al' reliable Pez dispensing Tetem class, and Head Sea

Then off to Colorado in July
Artists' Nook
Fort Collins, CO
July 18th -20th 2008
In this bunch of classes I'll be doing a 2 day Found Object Alchemy class, the Morpheus Box Class, and the Transparency Collage-ssmeblage class (a.k.a. I can see clearly now)

Hope to see you guys there...


Next post will be what ever became of all those typewriter parts from the previous post....stay tuned.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

To create you must destroy

Its a beautiful day in Missoula. Everything has turned a vibrant green overnight. So what is one to do on such a nice day when you're not inspired to go inside the studio and work. Well, if it were me, first thing I would do is hook up with my buddy Tim for lunch and a few India Pale Ales, on the deck of the Old Post Pub. Now this , as you would imagine , leads me to being less inspired to go to work. So off to see an exhibit of abstract expressionists at the University of Montana...deKooning, Kline and an early Pollack highlight the exhibit.I head home to do some work, but I just can't seem to get into my groove today. I dink around for a few minutes...then I decide I'll go see Iron Man. I have to say I never read the comic but it looked cool, plus Robert Downey Jr. is always good and cynical.So the show was great mindless fun, yet quite inspiring, watching the main character, Tony Stark busy inventing the Iron Man outfit. It made me want to be an inventor....like Nikola Tesla...who was way cool...and David Bowie did a pretty good impersonation in the film The Prestige.So, I'm back at the studio, wanting to invent something but alas my brain is in a different mindset. I decide since I can't create I shall destroy. Nothing like a little destruction to get the cobwebs out. What to dismantle?
Ah yes Typewriters! For those you who have never experienced the process of dismantling a typewriter, lets just say that it is a bit complex...especially if you have any intent on rebuilding it....which, of course I don't. The interior of a typewriter looks something like this. Don't forget the twenty million screws.
Those of you who may be squeamish at the sight of the antiques being dismembered might want to close your eyes. Some have certain ethics about taking such things apart...I however do not. Its time has passed...now it is mine (evil villain laugh).
It begins with a screwdriver and bit by bit the pieces are removed.
Some parts are a bit stubborn....time to pull out the Dremel and let the sparks fly.....woooohoooo!A desolate landscape left behind, but to me it is pure treasure...hundreds of little goodies and trinkets left behind for me to play with.
And of course there is the Holy Grail ...not sure what the technical name is, but it is I always the best piece.I know exactly what I want to do. Now I am inspired. Now I can get some work done.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Robert Rauschenberg 1925-2008

I tip my brush....
One of the greats of the Art world passed on this week. Robert Rauschenberg. He was one of my primary influences when starting my long hard slog to being an artist. It was years ago (high school, in fact) when I say my very first Rauschenberg work at S.F.Moma. It was what he called a combine...what I call assemblage.

combine - Any painted assemblage that is neither simply painting or sculpture, but rather a hybrid or interdisciplinary painting-sculpture. The term "combine" was coined by Robert Rauschenberg.

where as assemblage is defined as this:

assemblage sculpture - A three-dimensional composition made of various materials found objects, paper, wood, and textiles

Now, I admit that according to the definition, the term combine might be more correct in describing my work than assemblage...but only by a nose...besides, assemblage (assemblahhhhhzzzzzhhhhh) has a nicer ring to it. To each his own.
I can't tell you what an effect his work and others like him had on me. You might say: but it looks nothing like your work. But once upon a time my work was more like his than it was like mine. The reason was that when I was in Art School I dabbled in abstract expressionism. I was fascinated by texture of paint, and how paint was able to mix with other textures as well as actual objects. This exploration allowed me to use my paint the way I do today....because of his influence, I was inspired to understand what paint actually does, what it is as a physical, tactile element,and how it relates to foreign objects. There were others who inspired me in this regard, in particular, such as Anselm Kieffer, but I think Rauschenberg was the first to show me that paint and found object art can work together.

"think a painting is more like the real world if it's made out the real world."
Robert Rauschenberg

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

deMeng's Class Music on Itunes!

Okay...so a number of my students really like my playlists during my workshops and wanted a way to access some of the music. So someone in my class at Art/Soul VA mentioned putting together a IMix on Itunes...duh. Of course! The lightbulb went on and I quickly created a list for everyone to enjoy

While much of my playlist is available, the obscure titles or title not for sale on the Itunes are not included. I have two different IMixes. Michael deMeng's Mix-ssemblage Numero Uno and then of course Numero Dos. Each list has about 30 or 40 songs (there are about 5 pages to peruse) so pick and choose what you like.