Ink Gallery

Until Only Wreckage Remains

Until Only Wreckage Remains (2006), ink on paper, 30x24".

This resulted from an amusing idea where a small group of artists formed a chain of contacts and made art based on a message. The message was a text blurb restricted to 50 words or less. THe first artist made an artwork and e-mailed a message to the next artist. The receiving artist read the message, deleted the message, spent a week making a piece for the show, wrote a new message based on the work, and e-mailed that to the next person in the chain. The process continued through all the participants, transforming the message and producing a startling change in tone and content.

The original message read, "One day as I was driving, I pulled up alongside a wood paneled station wagon. An agile little boy popped up into view in the back seat wearing Spiderman pajamas." The associated work illustrated this idea, evoking notions of 1960s family life. I was ninth in the chain, and my message read, "The foolish zealot’s legacy greets the future. Nothing can stop the avalanche. It is too late for cooler heads to prevail. Angels of death scream day and night, delivering pain and destruction to all. Technologies improve, but war never changes. The senseless slaughter continues until only wreckage remains." The show ended with an iPod mounted in a box. It played a loop of the internet video clip showing Saddam Hussein’s hanging with the blurb, "Are we safe yet?" That was fun.

Glorification of Arms

Glorification of Arms (2003-4), ink heightened with white, 22x30".

We got weapons. Lots of weapons. Real weapons, imaginary weapons, sci fi weapons, anime weapons... We got weapons. Yeah, war is bad, but weapons look and feel inexplicably cool. So here is my tribute to that paradox.

External Manifestations Ep I

External Manifestations Ep I (2003-4), ink, 22x30".

This was the prototype for all of my wreckage drawings.

The Prophecy

The Prophecy (2006), ink, 16 1/4 x 15 3/4".

Conceptually, I owe something to the sculptor Michael Dunbar. He makes large, metal sculptures that feature sweeping, gestural forms. He manipulates simple arcs and rectilinear beams to produce physically imposing, visually striking, abstract structures. His unpainted, outdoor works develop rich, rusty, weathered surfaces that evoke great machines or shipwrecks left to the elements. These thoughts influenced the way I handled my forms.

Ink

Ink drawing is an unforgiving form. Once the mark is made, it’s usually part of the final work. Waterproof, acrylic inks eliminate erasing as an option. With heavy paper and a deft touch with a freshly sharpened X-Acto blade, it’s possible to remove a thin layer of paper and eliminate truly offensive errors, but it's risky. Doing that changes the surface of the drawing, and you can only do it once in an area or you may cut right through the paper. These risks attract me to ink as a medium. It's showing off, plain and simple. I feel confident enough in my skills to make the drawing. These days, I use Kohinoor technical pens with tips no smaller than .25mm on either Stonehenge printmaking paper or Arches bright white, hot press, watercolor paper.