I’ve been seeing Rebecca Louise Law’s latest installation The Flower Garden Display’d 2014 all over the net. Commissioned by London’s Garden Museum, it is a made up of 4,600 flowers. Law has been commissioned by almost everyone in the fashion business, including Hermes, Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci, Fred Perry, and Jimmy Choo.
I’m thinking about the draw of installation work such as this and the major common factor is repetition. Everything en masse is a draw to us humans, it seems. And my own work included, though often chaotic, it’s repetitive polyhedra and thousands of them to create a whole. Is it the actual repetition that draws us, seeing something constant? Or is is the madness behind it, that leads to such impressive works? Not sure, but I do know you have to be pretty mad to make them.
What?! It’s a blog post you say? That’s right, six months after the fact, I really felt it was time to put my Bali post together. I’ve been lucky enough to be busy enough to throw my blog to the wayside for a while, but I do plan on updating this thing from time to time more often. Let’s see how that pans out.
So Bali was amazing. The culture is rich and the island beautiful. We spent two weeks in this paradise, seeing the sites, eating delicious food, and getting $5 massages. I did find some time to put up some geodes in Ubud and near Balangan. As I’m more of an instagrammer, you can find some more stories on posts there, but please see the below for my collection of Bali geodes. My map will be updated on my site of locations (although many may not be there by the time you make it!)
Lately I find myself suggesting Matt Shlian to everyone and anyone slightly interested in paper or geometry. He’s one of my favorite paper artists out there.
Shlian’s work is an incredible engineering fete of folding. His works often leave me puzzled on how they were constructed, and wanting to constantly see more of what he dreams up. They’re so very architectural and artistic, I very much love the way he works in which the energy and process dictate the final result. Similar to the way I create my own puzzles and paths in my own work as I go, yet incredibly structured, the opposite of my chaotic mass.
“I begin with a system of folding and at a particular moment the material takes over. Guided by wonder, my work is made because I cannot visualize it’s final realization; in this way I come to understanding through curiosity.”
All photos from mattshlian.com
Below are two more geodes I created in San Francisco last weekend. I found some nice unused holes that let to nowhere, right on the main Valencia drag. Pretty standard rounded, golden geodes made of resin. Once again, my map is updated for your hunting pleasure.
All photos by Gregory Tuzin
Lately all of my energy outside of design is going to rethinking the geodes. I have coveted the use of paper and loved the process of deterioration, but there are other factors at play now: art buying, size, and ease of replication.
1. Interior installations/art pieces are something I’ve obviously started and as I create them I’m always thinking of how they can be purchased. I’m happy that people are willing to buy these hand-crafted pieces coated in polyurethane paint (which should help them last longer), but I know that potential buyers will want something guaranteed forever.
2. Size! The Box Geode was huge and I did it and I feel like a maniac and I’m proud! What an accomplishment to fold around 5,000 pieces of paper (with help of my two awesome assistants of course). I would do it again and probably will, but I’d like to go bigger and faster.
3. Now I need easy replication. As my work load grows larger and the demand is more, I cannot keep doing street art pieces every week. In fact, I’ve done none all summer. I’m sad I’ll lose the green nature and the quick deterioration, but I think spreading the work may win out for me.
Resin casting. I’ve been experimenting with making molds of my paper pieces and casting them in various types of resin. Some of you may be following me on Facebook or Instagram and seen some of my successes. I’ve provided a few images below of what I’ve been working on.
The plan is to cast pieces faster and make them myself for around Los Angeles. The other plan is to send out packages to people around the world so they can create the art themselves in their cities. I have a few hole hunters out there already and am excited to see how this project will pan out. If anyone is interested, let’s start the conversation too!
The large square trapezohedron above is a failure because of the obvious gaping hole on one side. Fortunately, this can be corrected by how well I rotate my mold when I pour the resin in. I just wanted to share this large piece because I’m super excited by how much it actually looks like the paper piece I made. Also, how cool does it look when it looks like it’s melting?!
What do you think of using plastic in the street?
In other news, I have some more deterioration images for you. The geode on 7th Street located at Tony’s Saloon is slowly being torn apart by people. I think it’s crazy interesting! I’m wondering, is it because it’s in front of a bar, in DTLA, or because it’s so big? Maybe one day I’ll find a grant to help me study this social interest.
I feel like I often start my posts with “it’s been a while”, but really, this time is has! Juggling art and design has become quite a challenge these days and I’m thinking this might be a good forum to work that out. I do always spout my process here after all and this is the process of work balance in the studio. As I ponder my next move, I think it’s good to post some awesome art in the interim.
My friend Michael John has been making some really cool art over the past year. This is just my type of handmade art that I love, using mixed media objects by way of “modern technology and age old crafting techniques”. His mainly large-scale pieces are either hand sewn buttons or hand sewn on a machine. I first saw his pop-culture influenced work online but I was really blown away when I saw it in person. I had no idea they were so large and you can definitely see the skill it takes to makes these works.
I took a few iphone photos shown below, but I would definitely suggest making it to his art show on August 9th at the Downtown Standard Hotel. The flyer is below for details—see you there!
It’s actually quite impressive what he’s done in between his own work and relaxing—shooting with his iphone while I folded pieces at a bar for example. So stealth! Hope you enjoy the video and are able to make it this Thursday for the reception.
A COMMON NAME BOX INSTALLATION urban geode project
dj + drinks + artist reception start at 7pm (with dj jeffrey paradise)
thursday, june 14th
the standard, hollywood
8300 sunset boulevard, west hollywood
RSVP to email@example.com
For more Standard events check out standardculture.com. Oh, and the track on the video is an amazing Remix of Architecture in Helsinki’s Escapee by SVRA. Check it out: soundcloud.com/svra/escapee.. and here’s the original, love it: vimeo.com/24269098
The past couple weeks I’ve walked past a couple geodes that are still in commission and saw that they’ve been deteriorating. This is one of the things I’ve been excited to see! The first image is from Venice on Abbott Kinney, the paint has dulled and a few pieces have come unglued from the constant moisture in the air. The next three images are the larger phone booth geode I did fairly recently. The plastic covering is missing from the whole booth, where you see white, the pieces have been torn away by people, and there’s a lovely sheen of dirt covering the whole piece.
I think this deterioration is incredibly cool. Regular minerals do not generally fall apart so quickly but they are affected by outside forces; breaking apart, getting covered with dirt, or eventually disappearing altogether. This is another level to the geodes in which their materials allow them to erode with the building around them and change with the forces of nature. It’s a very interesting symbiosis of both man-made architectures.
I personally did not know what it’s called, but like most people I’ve heard of the space, The Box. You know, the Box behind the front desk, where a model lays every evening (oh Hollywood…)? Every month The Standard asks a new artist to fill their approximately 10′ x 5′ glass box with art of their choosing. I’ve been lucky enough to have been asked to participate this summer for the month of June.
This is a huge task for me, I’ve obviously only been filling small crevices in buildings so far and an abandoned phone booth here and there. But I do think this is a great segue into large site specific installation pieces. The Box is a unique interior space in a building, it looks like a chipped away area or a viewing case in which, of course you may see the actual inside of The Standard there.
I’ve hired a few assistants to help me with the folding for a couple days and I’ve employed Greg once again to help with the installation portion. I’ll be blogging more from here on and feel free to follow the process on twitter, facebook, tumblr, or instagram. Oh yes, I’ve majorly crumbled, so pick your poison!
Check out a few photos of past artists in The Box, and my first steps creating my installation:
The Box Standard Photos © standardculture.com
Lucky number 13 for my 30th birthday! This weekend I made a trip to Baja, Mexico with a lot of amazing friends. We were there to celebrate my birthday, and it was brilliant. I was having such a good time, I didn’t get to make as many geodes as I planned (I was literally folding in the car though).
I planned on doing a geode in La Fonda where we stayed and in Puerto Nuevo, but was only able to do one since we only visited Puerto Nuevo for a short time. I found quite a few holes, as I suspected I would, but settled on a smaller crack in a wall of the main building of La Fonda. I needed something smaller since I ended up using a head lamp and sitting amongst my friends at around 10pm the very last night.
This is the result! It’s not painted the best or fit the best, but you do what you can while celebrating and on the move. I’m super excited I got to do my first international geode, hopefully I’ll get to travel soon to work solely on getting these out in other cities.
Get ready for some international geodes. I’m off to Baja this weekend to relax and celebrate my birthday with a lot of friends. I’ve been preparing lots of diamonds, twisted pyramids, and truncated octagons for this occasion. I hope to find some gnarly Mexico cracks to fill. HA!
Aesthetically pleasing crystal arranging.
My friend Carmen and I had one specific project we’ve been talking about—to create a micro projection on a geode. Image mapping is rapidly becoming something more artists are exploring for visuals and installations, but it’s generally done very large. Large would be amazing on these geodes, but we wanted to see how small we can go, a personal and unique challenge.
We designed an image mapping over the shape of a 2″ x 2″ geode I created so that we could isolate each of the “crystal” shapes and make them glow. The result was actually quite fun! It looks like the individual crystals are sometimes glowing and pulsing.
We haven’t perfected it yet, but I wanted to post some of our results and process. We chose the video below to show the scale of the actual piece (starring my cat Stampy), and the images are various projections and angles of the piece. We’re thinking of eventually making this an installation piece, but aren’t sure of where or what exactly. Stay tuned for more thoughts and details as this project progresses!
Geode #11! The largest, darkest, and on the edge of the Arts District in LA. This one is located right outside a local favorite bar, Tony’s. My friend Tim works there, found the spot for me, and has kindly offered to help me secure this one behind a plastic sheet. It’ll eventually look more like an “exhibit” outside with the cover on it. We decided to take these steps to see if we can get this to last longer than the other large one that was quickly removed despite some small efforts.
I have to say I’m particularly excited about this one. I can’t use black for smaller ones because I think they’ll be too hard to see, so I was happy to expand the palette a bit. And this is my largest effort, something I hope to continue to grow in the future. I love the small detailed treasures I’ve created but it would be nice to have some obvious public art—in addition.
Sneak peek of a still wet geode to be installed this week…
Finally a new geode! Well, a new geode in an old place… I’m retracing some steps here and recreated a geode for the very first hole I ever used. This one is closer to home and I’m hoping to test out some techniques on it and be able to monitor a bit. Never fear, I have a long list of holes to fill all around the mid city area! Hopefully I can start getting them out faster, life happens and production slows from time to time.
Besides that, I’m super excited by the new mutation! I found a metallic blue which is a little too sparkly for my taste but it turned out nice anyways. I also added a golden “growth” to this geode. Many geodes have two toned crystals growing off of each other and I decided to give it a try. I’m in love! And can’t wait to keep playing with this.
I spray paint my geodes in a windless corner outside and for some reason the sprinklers went off at a different time than usual today. Woo hoo! It kind of looks cool like this, like a new texture!
I was just perusing through Pia Habekost’s MyVisual EyeCandyDiary and nearly fell down when I saw Tokujin Yoshioka’s “Crystal Paintings”. These were apparently grown through vibrations given off by music. What?! Incredible. It’s hard to imagine how something so serene, quiet, and absolutely still can be grown from music. To me, the close up of the image reveals something fragile, the music almost suspended in time.
I went through Yoshioka’s site and found photo upon photo of stellar work, often made for spaces, collaborating with companies like Hermes, Swarovski, and BMW. His use of multi-media plastics, paper, music, and glass are inspiring to me, particularly the way he displays them and creates whole ethereal experiences.
All photos www.tokujin.com
How timely! A purple geode on Valentine’s day… I installed this bad boy last night on Spring Street between 6th and 7th in downtown LA. This is the largest geode so far, and the first official colored one. I bought a glossy purple, which I’m not completely satisfied with the tone but I sprinkled some silver to help it shine a little and let it be. I’m still on the search for metallic colors if anyone knows where to find some.
These are some quick photos I took today from my iphone, we’re going to do a better photo shoot tonight so stay tuned for more.
A huge shout out and thank you to my friend Consuelo Chozas, who cut out the majority of the pieces to construct this one. She’s an incredible help!
My friend Consuelo just took an amazing photo of geode #8 at Daily Dose. When we took our fancy photos last week, we didn’t have a stand to take photos in the dark lit cafe so we got this lovely iPhone flash/instagram action going on in this one. Just wanted to post this more detailed photo up to show off the teeny tiny pieces I made in this one.
Late last week I installed three new geodes in one location. They live at The Daily Dose, a little gem of a cafe in the Arts District of downtown LA. Sarkis, the owner, saw my geodes on Facebook and asked if I would add some to the cafe. Hell yes I will!
These three geodes are the most difficult I’ve done by far. They took me over three weeks to create, which is average for three geodes, but the amount of time per day put in was tripled. Each piece was precious since I knew they would be in a place where customers would be sitting for long periods of time, able to see every flaw.
Geodes number 7 and 8 were the challenging ones, the molds crumbled when I took them out. Putting them back together was a puzzle piece nightmare. I had to make both their casts twice because I made the glue mixture too strong and couldn’t get them off the molds. Also, while gluing the pieces in, I was constantly stressed and checking whether the folded nooks and crannies of the pieces would be too filled or if the whole piece was maleable enough for when I placed them in.
So much time and stress and these pieces were successfully created. I can’t believe they fit and I don’t know how big a puddle on the ground I would have melted into if it they didn’t.
Today I placed Geode #4 into its home in Echo Park. It lives in the wall of the Taix French Restaurant right off of Sunset.
This one was actually the very first geode I ever made. It was the largest by far and meant to fit in a wall in the Arts District but I sadly had mis-measured by an inch all around (I didn’t understand the foreign tape measure I was using). I luckily found this new hole on Taix while on my way to brunch last weekend. It was only larger by a little all around, so I took my original apart and remade it. It was easier than cutting it away and making it smaller.
I put it in this afternoon and it didn’t exactly fit in the end so I have plans to revisit during the night this weekend and do a little mending.
Here’s geode number 3! This one lives on the east side of Spring Street between 7th and 8th Streets. It was such a huge challenge to figure out how to properly handle this space—this one looks like Frankenstein on the back end. I changed my mind a dozen times on how to fit the piece and decide where the geode formations should go.
I first measured and went home and built the piece to fit. I went back and tried to put it in but quickly realized there were major mortar and brick pieces in my way in the seams of the hole (where the missing mortar is). I decided to shorten the length of the mortar areas and not the depth but realized then I would have to create hundreds of those teeny tiny shapes to fit. So then I shortened the depth of the mortar areas so I could cosmetically make it seem like it goes deep but someone hasn’t chiseled that far back yet.
Somehow, even after testing, the geode didn’t fit when I went back to install! I had to mash it in, causing a few tears. I also had to cut part of it away at the top, that’s why you see scissors on the ground as I’m installing below.
I wish I could have filled every mortar area missing but I simply don’t have the man-power at this time. Therefore, this was an excellent test. I’m not totally happy with it, but glad I figured something out and learned some lessons.
A quick look at the new geode I’m making. These paper shapes will go in a space about .25″ high. I want to challenge myself as I move forward with these, how small can I make them? How big can I make them?!