Six artists of 51 were accepted to participate: Gianna DiBartolomeo, Fahan McDonough, Kit Mezeres, Adriaan Mol, Patricia Lois Nuss and Richard Reep.
With Central Florida’s growing community of talented artists, the Downtown Arts District wants to generate greater awareness of Orlando as a cultural destination.
Art Basel week in Miami offers an international audience with several art fairs at one time. The Downtown Arts District/CityArts Factory applied and was accepted to participate in the 2017 AQUA Art Miami fair, December 7-10.
Central Florida artists were invited to submit up to five pieces for consideration. The call was a competitive application juried by a distinguished panelist including: Shanon Fitzgerald, Patrick Greene, Theo Lotz, Alya Poplawsky and Tiffany Sanders.
The Special Preview: AQUA Art Miami Fair exhibit at CityArts Factory was curated by Donna Dowless inviting the selected artists and honorable mentions to exhibit one piece each. Honorable mentions went to: Sarah Bender, Victor Bokas, Todd Fox, Esther Gregory, Yvonne Krystman, Mr. KYLE, Martha Lent, Rhada Mehta, Ivaldo Robles, Roland Rockwood, Lesley Silvia, Bonnie Sprung, Ben Van Beusekom, Lillian Verkins and William Drew Weinbrenner.
to channel the warmth of chaotic energy into order or form.
Order and form are the two rails on which architecture rolls. The newfound vigor of chaos derails architecture into black, deadend tunnels choked with soot, illimitable delays, and colorful desultory wrecks. At the end of nearly every day, after observing or managing chaos, I depart the scene with nothing to show for it. Nothing, except for small drawings.
Chaos is here to stay: meaningless bright adversity, overbearing dull beige banality, and the profligate urgent shrillness of spendthrift capitalism all create absurdity and waste beyond even Kafka’s wildest imagination. Arising out of this disorder come small bubbles of order, moments when one hand, temporarily unoccupied by the keyboard or the legal pad, can briefly roam free and make a connection between things that are separated.
This installation is a bank, a place where I deposit my dreams of escape. I participate in the warmth of chaotic energy without emotion; instead I invest emotions into small things, the open movement of my hand creating these dreams of escape. Meanwhile, order and form get restored.
Few, if any, of these are actual planes. They are dreams of aircraft, sketched during chaos; they are ways out. Tiny, quickly scratched blossoms of highly ordered objects, droplets of comfort and calm.
F6F Hellcat model in cement
British twin engine fighter
early jet air scoop
Comically fat Russian jet
Slightly comical American fighter
Russian fighter flying overhead
BAC Caravelle ghost
Fighter, probably Russian
Sub patrol aircraft
Navy fighter caught with propeller
Bomber on crumpled paper
Dive bomber far away
Russian transporter tail
Eastern European jet trainer
Russian jet of some kind
Early jet fighter coming at you
The one and only B-58
Two-engine passenger plane
Bit of a carrier-based navy plane
Early Swedish jet trainer studies
Another eastern European jet trainer
Kind of a British fighter-bomber
Yet another eastern European jet trainer
Russian turboprop bomber with Russian jet transporter flying in formation
Ancient tabby marks Florida’s sense of place. Tabby is the colloquial name for an early Spanish colonial form of cement. A cake of sand, lime, shells, and water created an architecture of walls and forts. Some of this is still extant today.
This series of contemporary tabby adds manmade materials in the same mixture. Lime, or calcium hydroxide, is the main ingredient of Type I Portland Cement.
Shells served as aggregate in Spanish tabby. The aggregate helps bind the cement together, increase volume. Aggregate also helps break up clods of lime when mixing. The Titan that I mixed for this series was pure Type I with no aggregate, and it was very laborious to mix it to a smooth, even consistency.
I harvested the shells and the manmade material from Siesta Key Beach in July 2015, off the coast of Sarasota. The manmade portions in this first piece occur in approximately the same density as found on the beach. This indicates that the proportion of natural-to-manmade material on the beach is pretty high.
Coming this fall, the latest of a series of experiments in cement.
I have always shied away from judgement, but I’ve pretty much concluded that western capitalism has remade everything into a single homogenous mass. While my day job is to articulate this mass (architect) my actual purpose I think really is to unmask it. I feel sort of like a Robin Hood of ideas, stealing from globalism and giving to those of us starved for localism and specificity of ideas.
By this I mean: I recently completed a concrete structure, and was far more excited about the structure as an expression BEFORE it got smeared with stucco and sealed up with tacky windows.
My work in concrete is inspired by many visits to urban parts of Mexico, and how they use it as an architectural finish. So I think for the next period my body of work will be to unmask this soulless homogenous monolith that we like to think of as “globalism” in its built form.
Most people react the same way, and the easiest summary that one heasrs is “there’s a Panera’s everywhere” (which replaced the ubiquitous Starbucks a couple years ago). Anyone who is aware has definitely noticed the homogenization of our built environment, and has reacted to it with native disdain. This is a mark of a healthy person, one who is wary of this trend.
But just as globalization protests in 2000’s Seattle Global Trade Convference were ultimately ignored and forgotten, so too will these individualistic protests. The Borg might just be right: “resistance is futile.”
Most people react by disconnecting from the monolith. I would liken tot the Kitty Genovese syndrome. No one is intervening, no one is calling the police, and when you confront witnesses, no one has seen it.
People do not want to get involved. Just as urban fatigue overcame the pthe witnesses to her awful 1964 murder, so too has it overcome those of us sitting forever at traffic lights, waiting in line at the store, parking in garages and walking to our cubicles.
The French writer Henri Lefebvre, who called it the “space of production,” could hardly have imagined the extent to which our society has remade itself into a machine. The machine extends to all corners of our lives, from the bathrooms in our houses to the skyline of a city. All are the same, differing only in small details.
Many see in this a new nihilism, a sense of meaninglessness to the life that we have created. What good is saving energy when we still consume it with wild abandon for escapism? Why have a biodegradable wrapping around a consumer product when that product itself has no purpose in the beginning? The profound purposelessness of most people’s individual actions and behavior has degraded our society to the point where we may lose the ability to conceive of a future at all.
So back to the monolith: I want to attack it, to see inside it, and to make it an object of examination. It is NOT too large or too inevitable to be broken down into scalable bits. It is not too homogenous to be localized, made specific to its time and place, and become a reflection of local cultrue.
Part of this will be to integrate a material into cement that holds thi skey to the future, introducing a dialectic into the monolith.
For those interested in the progress on Cement Works, here is an update.
2015 – A
9″ x 12″ x 1.5″
Quickcrete (stiff mix)
2015 – A is an experiment using found object (glass). It is cast into the concrete. Note the sworls and patterns within the larger surface field itself.
2015 – B
8″ x 21″ x 2″
Quickcrete – stiff – with light kit
2015 – C
7″ x 5″ x 1″
Quickcrete – stiff mix
2015 – D
10″ dia x 6″ high
Quickcrete mix (stiff) with bottlecaps
Cooper vacuumed these bottlecaps from Stardust in 2009 and saved them. The intent is to create a water fountain with an aquarium pump.
The main series of 6 pieces will get uncorked from its form over the next couple weeks. Please contact me if you would like to view any of these in person. Demand is high so a deposit is required on a piece to be delivered later this autumn.