Tuesday, August 21, 2007


There are so many ways to tap into your inner animal, and it looks like I have three sure-fire methods, since today I am reaping the rewards.

1. Go to a Pet Parade

Sounds quite possibly lame. Is actually silly. Was kinda enjoyable on a purely guilty pleasure level. But watching people who have worked really hard to dress up and train their dogs in elaborate ways is kind of entertaining in a way you can feel good about, one step removed. I don't dress up my cat. She would eat me whole.

whippling © Laura Kicey

1. Go see a Hardcore Show in a Bumblefuck Town

Guaranteed you will want to beat someone up afterwards. I didn't go to see hardcore bands play. I went to see Night Train to Terror, who were awesome, as always. We had to wade through some truly questionable music and smokescreens to get to that point of the night, but they made it worth it.

burl's cymbal
burl's cymbal © Laura Kicey

1. Go to a Cat Show

Advanced cat primping always leaves me in slack-jawed wonderment. I love it. I would do it, possibly. I would feel slightly ashamed, but for over two hours I couldn't stop going awwwwwwwwwww, sincerely. Convention centers are magical vortexes where extremes of society converge. And when you hang out on the edge of such extremes and enter, it is easy to get sucked entirely in.

four senses
four senses © Laura Kicey

I was especially drawn to the above beast for his particular 'specialness'. Jacob, a 3-year-old ragdoll was born without eyes. Since his brothers and sisters were show cats, he has been travelling around since the age of two weeks. Every new place he goes, hotels and other homes, he makes a little sound and smell map and kicks back and takes over the place as though it were home. He was playful and confident, despite the initial impression that he was taking a nap and didn't much want to wake up. Though he could only show in the "Household Pet" category (for animals that have been altered, which normally means declawed or neutered), he was winning oodles of awards doing so.

When you mix these three things together, the response is apparently, make something. I'm not sure if it is something good just yet. But I have been itching to make a coherent, ongoing, self-contained project for some time. I just had no idears. Then I had the idear but no idea how to make it work.

Today, I just dug in and started making up the rules as I went along. This is how my project construct came to be. I wanted to take existing photos or walls, doors and windows, or ones shot specifically for this purpose and redesign them into what I would call my aesthetic ideal of a wall. As I worked for a couple of hours and sifted through my stack of source material, I started adding in tree shadows, faded painted typography and extraneous textures... using 3-6 images, I built imaginary walls.

All elements have to agree on a basic scale and perspective (or lack thereof since these are all very 2D thus far).
They should be physically possible despite not existing.
The colors have to harmonize, but I can change them to achieve that.
The individual elements can blend with each otheor sit on top of each other.
Sources should not be used more than once, for now.

So here is an initial taste of what is on its way... though who can say how far it will go:

hideaway © Laura Kicey

invisibles © Laura Kicey

delicates © Laura Kicey

welcome © Laura Kicey

Its rather fulfilling also to see really old photos come alive in ways I never envisioned. I figure since I have been doing this sort of manipulation to images of myself since I picked up a camera, this sort of work certainly isn't going to harm the integrity of a wall or 50. It is the culmination of all the things I adore, design, color, photography (and my most oft revisited subject matter- typography, windows, walls, plant life) all tied up neatly. Taking all of these very sort of serendipitous things I have stumbled upon for years and building something precise out of the them. I'm... like... making art. Unheard of. I might consider trying to pitch this for my upcoming show if I can create enough... And I welcome you, blog readers to let me know how you feel about this stuff I've made, I'm part excited part insecure, venturing into what seems wild new territory. Let the commenting begin!

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Blogger Michael K. said...

A post-industrial photographic Rothko. It could work. I'm just alarmed by how much they look like real walls. My own reality is, I guess, not hyperreal enough.

9:00 PM, August 21, 2007  

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