The other day Nat King Cole was playing when I walked into a store. And it hit me. Unforgettable. The moments you never forget. That is what I am toying with. The surfboard making. The wax and Dr. Pepper cans. The tunnel in the dirt mound.
We all have moments that we never forget. Not like when Kennedy was shot, the moon landing or Prinsesse Di’s death. Not our social subconscious, but our own. The moments that make us who we are. And my art is based in my moments.
Hopefully the work will carry some common ground, beyond referencing my own life, making it relevant to others. In the same way I think John Lennon and Andy Warhol did. I think the clip of John Lennon telling a crazy fan that the song is about his own life, not that of the fan is great. As the way Ultra Violets tells of Andy Warhol loving to look at his mother sleeping and that she would always serve him Campbell’s tomato soup and that he loved it.
So this year is off to a good start.
I think Painting with out paint at David Risley Gallery is a great show. Or was. It might be down now. But great.
My studio is buzzing with new work. And demand has never been higher. I am putting all my effort into my coming show at V1 gallery this fall.
I am still high on Miami, the weather at least, but also just the scale. Though not a fan of the fairs. I find it very helpful to experience a lot of works by different artists on a bigger scale.
I have seen so many good things lately.
Ryan Gander and Charlie Roberts at David Risley. – Charlies work is great. Stories straight in your face. Not much bull shit there other than all the bull shit.
Portait show at Louisiana – too good, too many portraits, just like the renaissance portrait show at The Met. Overwhelming. Needs revisiting.
Ed Kienholz – 5 Car Stud also Louisiana. One of the best works of art ever. Really a must see. Like a comet. It wont be back for a long time.
And just now – Art of the Joke and Anika Lori’s The Hunger at V1 Gallery. A huge show for Anika. Really really really good.
Ada Bligård Søbye world premiered her doc -Petey and Ginger. Sooo good. There is an alternative.
Other than that I have seen the inside of my studio and will ship works to Miami soon. Yeah.
I like Tom
I like Tommy
I like lots of things
Do I feel guilty. Yes
Do I feel cheated. Yes
I am ok. Yes
Do I really care. No
Does it bother me. Yes
Will I get over it. Yes
I just keep on trucking.
Persistence is key.
If I was a trucker. I would never stop.
What would you do?
I would eat and sleep and make some stuff. Hang out.
Life is a beach.
Life is a many splendid thing.
Life is over.
Life is just begun.
Tommy Tom Tom
It has taken me a while, 10 years actually, to start using a multitude of materials. I guess I felt I had to understand their immediate effect on my work. Their implications and inherent meanings. I was a control freak – in reverse maybe – seeing how I am for ever in debt to chance, never the less I haven’t strayed much from the materials I started using in college at the turn of the millennium.
My initial proclamation was enamel on canvas. I wanted the discourse to be about abstract expressionism and felt that the base needed to be a common ground. The canvas was already on panel, and I fairly quickly dropped the canvas and went to MDF. I was looking at space age materials such honey comb ply etc. but settled on MDF.
The enamel was pretty hot at the time used by Inka Essenhigh for one. It was a natural step when sanding away all brush marks. As was using panel, because the sanding shows every crease in the making and obviously the frame when sanding on a stretched canvas. I was inspired by her, Alex Katz and my teacher Mary Jones. As the need for a common ground with the ab ex ebbed out the auto lacquer took over. My process had become much like that of an auto body shop, and I appropriated it completely.
My college thesis stated that my paintings were done when my emotional memory was satisfied. It still goes. So when moving into the DIY surf board process it was a satisfaction of my childhood dream of building my own surf board. My mistakes, or the errors that happen when I cut corners, which I inherently do and has always done, and the fixing of the them are the chance occurrences that guide my process. And the fun fact that you can’t make square 90˚ surf boards – I know I talked to a surf board manufacturer on Hawaii. Now I make my boards angular for the same reason I chose painting in college. I figured if my art work was going to be read in relation to culture 500 years down the line, I would critique culture in my work, and the square to my is a pretty unique to culture thing, and so I chose painting as my major and decided on painting as my medium in 1998. Now almost 15 years down the line it turns out that my shape of choice creates the clash with materials, that becomes the chance happenings that in turn creates the abstraction that I desire in my final art works. And is the institution I initially set out to critique. Now, I’d buy that for a dollar!
In tune with the DIY surf board making I started using old fabric in stead of fiber glass. Fortunately my mom and grand mother has kept a bunch of fabrics that date back to my childhood, which has made some awesome authentic boards, but has also guided me in picking out new ones.
In an earlier post, I talk about my use of Sex Wax and how that came to be.
Currently I am working on fusing a bunch of materials. The small wax sculptures has really opened up some doors and brought some cycles to a close. Off course there is a funny ha ha thing with sex wax and encaustic that ties is right back to a common ground with the abstract expressionists. The surfing has brought me into coastal protection and piers made out of concrete, which in turn has a very similar position as the auto lacquer or enamel. A super historical and culture rich western society product. The best part is that it is really easy to make your own organic surf wax and that I am working on some new life size versions of the Sex Wax sculptures.
Watch out for some crazy cool sculptures encompassing more materials than ever before.
I just image-googled my name and the first one to appear was this painting from 2006 that was featured in the CRG Gallery group show featuring all of the artists from Klaus Von Nichtssagend. It was such a good show. Such a fun time.
It was a summer show and the weather was fantastic. I rode Danny Bensi‘s bmx to the opening all the way from Robert Geller‘s down town flat along the west side to CRG. I wore my new sunday best and had such a blast at the opening. It was a busy weekend. I remember hanging out with Dash Snow at an opening he was in with Ryan McGinley just around the corner.
I still love the painting and think it might be one of the best I ever made. But they all are
The title refers to my life with Stine. We started out with a mantra of “One Day at a Time for a Very Long Long Time”, but all of sudden it was pointless. We grew into forever being what we both wanted in stead of being a fear symbolic of growing up, growing old and settling down. I still go to bed happy and wake up happy one day at a time, but now I want forever to last eternally.
At the time all my titles referred to my life and not the paintings. If you read them all it will be a weird poem of my life. It was meant to be guide to my work. Another light shining on what I make. Not explaining what it is, but adding a piece to the puzzle.
The composition is, as then always, an abstract landscape focusing on the horizon and informed by my childhood memory of growing up by a lake. If my emotional memory of that place was satisfied the painting was done. And this one is good. It still evokes that pleasure, safety feeling even when viewed 2nd hand on the internet.
Studio is treating me so well. I am finishing up a NY commission of two “McCracken” boards and they are turning out the best. And working on several new works for the Nada Art fair in Miami come December. Klaus Von Nichtssagend has asked me to be in their line up. I am happy and proud to be showing with Sam, Rob and Ingrid the coolest highest of integrity art people in all of the world.
My studio is a renovated small business work shop/factory in the coolest area ever in Valby, Copenhagen. It has north facing windows in the slanted roof and it is big. I loved my old studio, but this place is amazing.
I am really excited about this new work and can’t wait to show it. It will be my first outing in the US since my successful show “Tomato” at Klaus Von Nichtssagend Gallery and V1 Gallery at The Armory Show
Here are a few of the write ups and reviews
There are few things that really matter.
But the ones that matter do and all other things I can’t be bothered with.
They muck my horizon.
I want clear skies and an open road and option to cruise, speed or pull over if I want to.
Leaving it up to chance.
Leaving it up to the song playing on the radio.
Or the wind.
Or what ever comes our way.
One day at a time for a very very long time.
Getting rid of the muck one mountain at a time.
Following the fine response to my Sex Wax sculptures here is what happened.
My car went into the shop in early spring. Nothing major, but in it went. Not thinking of it, I left a few packs of wax on the dash. Then chance had it spring came and over a weekend melted the wax packs on my dash leaving a nice beautiful flow of wax running down the vents over the stereo and forming a beautiful stalagmite on the ashtray.
Sooo cool, I thought. And then right there on the floor of the passenger seat were a few empty cans of Dr. Pepper rushing my nostalgic brain to remembering my first Dr. Pepper. It was given to me by legendary Danish skater, Frank Messmann, who had just returned from the states with a case of Dr. Pepper! It was a sunny day at Isreals Plads in Copenhagen. He also gave me a pair of Converse All Stars in grey leather. So thank you, Frank. And “Thank you, Frank”, “Thank you, Frank. Again” and “No really thank you, Frank” was born.
So far they have been shown in Copenhagen, Cologne and Basel. I plan on showing some in Miami at the Nada Fair this coming December with Klaus Von Nichtssagend Gallery.