Ceal Floyer

A new inspiration/favorite artist. Ceal Floyer’s witty & poignant work hits on something I constantly am striving for. Her work is dryly poetic in the way of a John Updike short story, but lingers like a drip on the edge of a spout. (Yeah, I just made that up! Ha!) Anyway, her work is interesting. The most interesting thing to me is the reveal of the work. First you have to figure out what it is, then you “get it”, then there is a moment of transcendence where you realized it’s more profound than you first thought. I like where these pieces sit in my mind. I like the way my mind is encouraged to wander and connect.

Ceal Floyer at Lisson Gallery
An article from Frieze

Ceal Floyer-Solo

Ceal Floyer-Wish you were here

Ceal Floyer-Taking a Line for a Walk

Monstrous Stories

I like the way Annette Messager relates to memory of childhood. The desires and fears of children are so untainted that they seem like they would give us clues into the nature of things–of us. I saw a Messager on my trip to the Art Institute of Chicago and really liked it in person more than I did in images.

annette messenger art
“I like to tell stories… children’s stories are monstrous,’ Annette Messager has said, and much of her work of the last four decades is based on toys and childhood.”

Recently as few pieces have emerged that relate to memories from my childhood. I never imagined that I would be that artist and makes autobiographical work, because I have traditionally thought that this level of self-reference excludes the viewer from experiencing anything but voyeurism. I am rethinking that stance as I ponder whether or not the particulars in life are actually contain more universals.

Here are the pieces about me and my past:




The Decisive Moment

“Photography is not like painting,” Cartier-Bresson told the Washington Post in 1957. “There is a creative fraction of a second when you are taking a picture. Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera. That is the moment the photographer is creative,” he said. “Oop! The Moment! Once you miss it, it is gone forever.”

(quoted from Wikipedia)

decedent meals shared, perhaps, between ballerinas

I’m liking the photography of Laura Letinsky today. One article from New York Magazine described her images as “…elegant undone tables, always suggesting decadent meals shared, perhaps, between ballerinas.” It can be difficult to identify what it is about an image that you really like. You try to dive in based on color and composition…etc, but the aforementioned quote really nailed it for me. It’s the elegance, the delicate touch, the painstakingly beautiful mess. It’s really lovely!

Tell It Slant: Lesley Dill

I spent a couple hours tonight reading and looking at Tell It Slant: Lesley Dill (book). I really love her ideas and the way that she thinks around things. While I am not interested in using words or figures in my work, I connect with the poetic ideas. Here are some images of her work for reference:

Yet, 2005

Punch, 1999

Homage to N.S., 1997

In reading, I realized that I am often stuck by a word or a phrase and sometimes the context doesn’t even matter, just the beauty of the words together or the idea they emit alone. I have tons of underlined statements, transcribed sentences and recorded ideas. It seems like the canopy that connects these ideas is over my head, but just out of my minds reach. I’m not sure if I should be satisfied with the longing to make the connection or if I should continue to try to connect. Sometimes the longing is the most interesting point. Here are some glimpses of the snippets I was turned on to tonight:

“I have given my whole life to words-
chewed this dog hunger into a long meal.” -Salvador Espriu

— – —- — —— –

“Clothing houses the house that houses the soul.” -John Leland

Vision vs. Visions

“A Word made flesh” -Emily Dickinson

…Like paragraphs of Wind-” -Emily Dickinson

“…variations of black-and-white: swamp trees silhouetted against the endless snow of Maine; inky black sypte floating on the page of a book; the lakes of the Adirondack Mountains, so dark they mirror the clouds…” -images from Lesley Dill’s conversations

Beauty is poetic not cosmetic. -paraphrased quote from LD book

“My business is circumference.” -Emily Dickinson

“The tops of my dress sculptures are small and flat, but the skirts are voluminous. This kind of compression-versus-expansion is in all of my works.” -Lesley Dill

“the contaminated subjective” -Karen Jacobs

“What do we see in the space of the mind behind the eye?” -Lesley Dill



Waiting is a transitional state that I often find myself in and tend to be quite impatient with. Whether it’s waiting for Rob to head out the door (although I’m pretty sure he waits for me more than I wait for him), waiting for a balloon sculpture to deflate since my prodding only messes up the process or waiting to get an answer from say, a graduate school or something like that, I tend to twiddle my thumbs, tap my fingers and get myself all worked up. Time is a precious thing in my life since there is always more to do than I have time for. My time has become quantifiably valuable in the photography business since we bill by the hour and I can also see a monetary value for the time I am putting in at Cranbrook since this experience is an investment. The laborious nature of my art work is also very time intensive.

These thoughts about waiting were inspired by some images in the series “New Londoners: Reflections on Home” and Louise Bourgeois’ “Insomnia Drawings”.

The New Londoners are a group of refugees from around the world now living in London who were connected by Photovoice with a “new and upcoming” photographer from the area to create a series of honest photo’s based on life in a new city. There were at least 3-4 photo’s titled “Waiting for… (so and so)” which got me thinking about what I do while I’m waiting and how that changes based on the place I am in. If I’m at home, I busy myself in that waiting period. If I am in an unfamiliar place as these photographers are, I tend to sit and look. I’m less interested in the photo’s themselves than I am in the idea of transplanting, seeing for the first time, collaborating and waiting.
View Slideshow of “The New Londoners: Reflections on Home”

I had an individual meeting with my artist is residence, Heather McGill and she suggested I look at Louise Bourgeois’ Insomnia Drawings in relation to my work. I am still working on tracking down the book itself but the images and information online also lead me to thinking about the state of waiting. I came across an article referencing the drawings the New York Times (read the article) Louise talks about the lulling nature of making the drawings while she is waiting for sleep to come.

Rosemary Laing

I just happened upon the beautifully integrated and suspended photography of Rosemary Laing and am really taken with it! I am especially drawn to her Bulletproofglass series and her Weather series (see below). The concepts are intriguing, but the part I can’t get over is the complicated textures and the transitional state of the subjects. Also, reports say that she doesn’t use digital manipulation to achieve these strange images, which is also an interest of mine (strange things that actually can exist). I’ve found a new favorite!

(Weather #12)

An interesting interview.