This is the latest body of work. In the end, each woman will be placed in a context suggested by cut and paste collage.
In praise of the unglamorous, the overlooked, ordinary, and old. Before happy pills, before birth control.
This is what I do when I should be doing other things. Every time I feel like reaching for my cell phone, I find my sketchbook instead.
I travel with art supplies, arrive early to appointments if not only to eek out a few minutes of sketchbook time.
There is only one brand of sketchbook for me: Global Art Hand Book Artist Journals. I prefer these two sizes at the moment: 3½" × 5½" and 5½" × 8¼", both landscape orientation.
First I embark on a collage blitz in the studio, prepping pages with bits and scraps from other projects. Later, while watching TV, listening to podcasts or music, bored at a meeting, waiting for a plane and on a plane, I will sketch.
This exhibition featured a 4’ x 40’ collage mural on 12 ounce unprimed canvas. Cut up and sold by the foot when the exhibition was over, the collage was comprised entirely of architecturally-themed paper ephemera. In the end it served as a tableaux of a lost and forgotten vocabulary unique to designers who once rendered with paint and brush. Using intricately cut pages from “withdrawn” library books, I took that which was fragmented in order to rebuild it. Having passed through many hands for decades, these decommissioned books could be lost to the digital age but the objective was to commemorate them through art and collage.
I have an insatiable desire to deconstruct and reorder the urban fabric through collage; cut and paste collage with a nod towards the masters Anne Ryan and Kurt Schwitters. Collage is a hoarders art and everything that is printed has charm and magic, but I also consider the surface of medium format film an opportunity for collage. Using masking devices that fit between the film and the lens inside the camera and exposing the film several times, a palimpsest of information is recorded. These are imagined, fictitious cartographies.
On view from October 25th, 2014-January 25, 2015, PAPER/WEIGHT was a three-person exhibit of artists who used the materiality of paper and its printed surface to create works that belie the thinness and fragility of its construction.
The three artists, Stacy Greene, Jill Stoll and Maria Levitsky all have backgrounds in photography. The exhibit presented work that extended the medium of photography to include found printed matter, handmade paper, hand and computer-assisted laser cutting as well as traditional photographic prints.
Jill Stoll’s artful handmade mail-art postcards are available through a subscription-only process, and are fabricated out of recycled photographic prints, found magazine imagery and laser-cut paper shapes with over-lays of hand-typed text. The edges interrupt the cut-outs, with polka dot excerpts of vintage silver gelatin prints containing miniature slices of landscapes, like quotations from lines of poetry. The pieces are displayed in hanging grids of transparent pockets, making both sides visible. The work is both intimate and universal, small enough to hold yet reaching as far as the post office will go.
The exhibit took place in the newly renovated Chateau Curioso, an alternative space in a house in the Holy Cross neighborhood of the 9th Ward of New Orleans.
Maria Levitsky, Curator
There are 1,600 luminaires in New York’s Central Park. When the lamp of a luminaire is on during daylight hours, the Parks Department refer to it as a “dayburner.” There are several reasons for a dayburning luminaire. Two of the most common reasons are the timers are malfunctioning or because a contractor is on site replacing burned out lamps. Dayburning luminaires appear in small clusters throughout the seven zones of the park.
To date, I have photographed nearly 600 of these infrequent sightings. Each image is of an individual luminaire,which is distinguished by a unique number assigned by the Parks Department. In her book, “Red-Tails In Love,”Marie Winn describes this system of numbering as “one of the parks many secrets: the first two digits on each lamppost tell its location relative to the nearest city street (page 12).” In addition, if the last two digits end in an odd number, the luminaire is on the west side of the park; in an even number, the east side.
I was originally drawn to the intersection of artificial and natural light as recorded through the lens of vintage medium format plastic cameras. However, the project became more prominent in my studio practice after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Like most New Yorkers, I was looking for a way to soothe my shattered nerves. I learned during this period that in order to recover from the shock of such staggering violence, it helps to follow a meaningful schedule. Going to the park with my cameras became my salve. I found the repetition of photographing these lights to be a comfort.
In my art process, I find working within a structure or giving myself certain rules to follow liberating. While each frame is composed similarly, the variation between images is vastly different, showing unique background landscapes, buildings, seasons, shadows and sky. Shooting with close to thirty different vintage medium format plastic cameras adds to the visual range of the series.
I am particularly interested in drawing attention to details in the landscape, urban or rural, that are taken for granted or otherwise overlooked. My objective is to photograph all the dayburning luminaires of Central Park.
Recomposed Through a Plastic Lens: Subtracting Density From the Eternal City
This photographic series shot on film is a study that seeks to recompose and reorder the Eternal City in an effort to create a sense of breath where none exists. While the piazze abound in Rome, there are few places to rest, reflect, and recharge. The density is such that there are few public parks in Rome: pocket or sprawling. By exposing film multiple times while shooting with custom made masking devices in the camera, I subtract urban density; finding splices and slices of negative space.
My two experiences of Rome have been characterized by the sheer volume of human density. My first visit in the summer of 1982, Italy played West Germany in the World Cup. Projection screens were erected in every piazza thick with spectators, throngs of fans covered every inch of pedestrian space. When Italy won, the city erupted in a celebration the likes of which this suburban, middle-school girl had never seen. Grandmothers cheering in windows, people hanging out of buses, buildings festooned with waving flags. We were in a crush of people; elbow to elbow with this exuberant population. It is a spectacular memory.
On my second visit in the fall of 2011, I lived at Piazza Sant' Andrea della Valle while teaching in the Rome Program at the Tulane School of Architecture. Despite the downturn in the global economy, tourists were flocking to Italy. Again, the city was active with a human density that I had not encountered in a decade of living in New York City. The sidewalks, and vicoli in particular, were difficult to navigate given the tour groups moving at a glacial speed, motorini, cars, small buses, and bicycles all vying for the same space. The walk back and forth from the apartment to Piazza del Collegio Romano several times a day was an exercise in patience as I attempted to dodge these variables while trying not to trip on cobblestones.
Where does the permanent resident find their breath in such an intense urban condition? Where does the city dweller rest their gaze to recharge? I found myself asking these questions and was startled to find the answer in the work I was making at the time. In the photographs I was composing, I found a striking sense of negative space, or what I call silence. Through the viewfinder, my eye was avoiding movement, noise, and crowds, and instead seeking solace and stillness.
Four series are presented here in color were all shot using masking devices: (1) Subtracting Density, (2) Built Form Meets Sky, (3) Notations of Shifting Light (Morning, Noon, Late Afternoon), (4) A Study of Umbrella Pines, Villa Borghese. The series in black and white, Celebrated Italians, Pincio Gardens, was shot using overlapping frames.
From 2012-2018, I offered mail art subscriptions in my Etsy shop. It was the perfect gift for the person who appreciates small works of art and aches for a time when snail mail actually meant that something special might arrive in the post.
Do you know someone who (still) writes letters? This is the kind of thing that was right up their alley. It's like having a pen pal who crafts a collage just for them each month, writes a personal note on the back, and sends it in the mail.
You can also think of a mail art subscription as joining a Collage-A-Month Club.
Subscriptions were available in 3, 6, or 12 month plans.
Each Artisanal Postcard is an original piece of artwork, signed by and with a note from the artist. Subsequent collages were sent every 30 days until the subscription expired.
Made to order, collages measured approximately 4"x 6".
Seen as a collection, this page features completed subscriptions and serves as an archive of the project. Subscriptions are no longer available as of 9/1/18.