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Light & Crystal, 2017
ink on mylar, 72 x 36 inches, $11500
Hippy Glass Blue Up
ink on mylar, 30 x 30 inches, $6600
Hippy Glass Green Down
ink on mylar, 30 x 30 inches, $6600
Beacon 320, 2015
ink on mylar, 36x60 inches, 41.5x64 inches framed, $10500
Japanese Dissemble IV
ink on mylar, 19x24 inches, $2100
ink on mylar, 60x36 inches, sold
Hippy Glass I, 2017
ink on mylar, 30x30 inches, sold
French Horn Dynamo, 2016
ink on mylar, 46x42 inches, 53x49 inches framed, sold
About the artist...
I wanted to make shadow sculptures at first; flat rubbery forms that I could peel up from the ground and slap on a wall all sticky and abstract. I could make lots of them and pile car shadows up like so many 14 foot pancakes. Shadows seemed like the perfect byproducts of life; vital and mundane. I set out to capture them but like most art, it didn't turn out as expected.
It began with a few drawings. I'd find a shadow and set the plastic underneath and draw what I saw. What I saw was a whole new world, utterly familiar, utterly unrecognizable. Ordinary objects cast shadows like space debris. How can a thing be both 'what the hell?' and 'oh sure.' I was taken. So I spent eight years developing techniques and tools. The drawings are on mylar because, on a transparency, light breathes through the drawing.
After a while the shadows stopped looking like blobs and I started to notice the range of forms from sharp to diffuse and so had to mix inks to catch that range from solid black to areas so light you can't quite see them, only feel them there. The materials took on a life of their own, contour lines dried quickly and as I filled these, the lines served as channels, holding pools of ink that flowed through the drawings. The pools bubbled and dried leaving marks like geologic forms from evaporated lakes.
The single shadow became like a first note. Then, as experience or ideas do, they piled up on one another until a whole new landscape emerged. I spent years on bicycles, then just the wheels, now musical instruments. I sometimes wondered â€œIs there an equivalent for visual artists to playing scales?" Musicians don't have to wonder 'what will I play today?' For them it always starts the same. Sit down, tune up, scales.
It seemed a good physical metaphor. A trombone makes notes by stretching breath in the instrument like shadows are formed by light stretching around objects.So this work was particularly satisfying to me. Like a musician's scales I get to just settle into the instrument for a while. Let it be itself, grab the shadow and in developing the drawing, do another and another and another extending the slide as it moves through the notes. Showing each individually but allowing the group to build into a composition.
Is it parallel? I don't know, it does document the physical relationships of making notes in a format parallel to doing scales. That's why these 'scale' pieces are the first in the series, figuring out what the instrument can do visually. I did half a dozen six foot 'scales' drawings to start the series, repeating the trombone in blocks of eight rolling up and down from short to long. Later I began to use a range of shadows, close and sharp, big and diffuse, half and half, unrecognizable to form compositions that parallel musical experiences like when a sharp new note enters while a soft old note is fading in the atmosphere.
Music generates energy and feeling in its listeners- in so doing it makes of them players, singers, dancers. Visual arts takes these elements, even in abstraction, to conceptual ends into a world of ideas. Now I listen to musicians talk about playing and composing. I heard a keyboard player for the Doors say how when there are two drummers in a band one is there to set the beat and the other to mess it up. Or, when writing the song "Light My Fire" they put a three four time over four/four time so the break would fall out of order. These are amazing concepts when applied to pictorial composition. Today my friend told me about Charles Ives, a composer who wrote a symphony to sound like a pair or marching bands.
Visit artist's website - www.katinahuston.com