Geode #30 went up in Los Angeles almost a month ago, I posted on instagram, but now check out these photos we took during daytime. Of course I’ll be updating my website with the location—hopefully it’s still there and you can go hunting if you’re in the area.
I’m branching out on color here, and really loving it. I just took a trip to Dallas, TX and visited the Perot Museum. There were so many amazing crystal and mineral formations in their collection, I was quite inspired. Fluorescent minerals made an appearance, and I was so excited to see them in person.
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
Sometimes I go into extreme silences when I have large projects attacking me. Last month, I had a group show with CYRCLE at the new Time to Shine Gallery in the Arts District. A day later, I had a shoot with Subaru/Ovation—more on that soon! And a day after that wrap I went to Madrid.
All of this was long hours of creating and preparing and not sleeping and it was amazing! I’ll be sharing everything in time, but first, let’s talk Madrid.
My friend and I had an apartment for the week in Barrio Salamanca, walking distance to museums and parks and the older parts of town. As on any European trip, we spent hours and hours walking the streets and discovering all the details of Madrid. My bag always contained a pile of externally designed geodes, that I had already organically puzzled together, and some adhesive. I pasted up a piece when a wall, crevice, or crack caught my eye. It was such a beautiful process—I kept pulling out my predetermined shapes and they would fit exactly into the spot I found. All of my pieces were a metallic bronze color, which ended up being a very fitting color for gray Madrid.
A reader pointed out that my new style of geode is called a “druzy”, in which they “cover a surface in more or less outward pointing clusters of small crystals”. You’re going to see a lot of druzy moving forward. I’m still calling them all geodes for the sake of the project, but there will be more types of formations growing around the world from now on.
#24 and 25
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
Last weekend I went to my old city San Francisco. Forever I’ve been wanting to get up there to make some geodes and finally got the chance. In between drinking with friends and eating the crap loads of amazing food you can find every other step in the Mission these days, I was hunting for any possible hole to use.
I have a list of more to hit when I get back next year, but over the next few days I’ll be revealing what I did get done. Check out #17 shown below, silver resin in a large vent that had been painted over. This is located in the Mission District, I’ll be updating my map this week as well. Lovely mural on the rest of the wall, no?
Back to the streets.
I just created three new geodes for West Hollywood on Sunset Avenue. I hate to talk about how “it’s been a while”, but yeah, it’s been a while. I was creating a geode almost every week earlier this year until I received opportunities to create larger installations. It was and is great to take on those challenges, and even though they took away from the street work, they also offered me a way to explore new ways to create my urban pieces.
These new geodes are resin castings I created from silicone molds. I’ve posted about this before and I’ve finally made a few molds that are the right size for these next planned geodes. I plan to run with this concept, so you’ll be seeing more street work more often.
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.
My installation is going up tomorrow! I’m equals times shocked the month went by so fast and relieved the madness is almost over. Although the next day, more work begins as I attempt to create smaller pieces to be sold during the installation. **This is not a guarantee or promise, just a teaser!
Next week on Thursday the 14th, we are having an artist reception. I’ll be there drinking drinks, listening to awesome music played by my friend Jeffrey Paradise, and hanging out with cool people. I hope anyone in LA can be there!!
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!
I saw these a while ago on This Is Colossal and I haven’t stopped thinking about them. Yes yes, I love to fold paper, blah blah. I more love the execution of the videos shot by stoptrick, origami work by Sipho Mabona. Greg and I were talking about a personal branding video that includes stop motion similar to this but without paper. I love the idea of something morphing before our eyes without the help of human hands or any other element.
via This Is Colossal
Yay another geode! This one lives in Hollywood near The Music Box. During my interview with KTLA last week you see me starting to build this one, folding and gluing some of the pieces. Good thing I got this installed during the same week…
Geode #12 is chrome in an attempt to compliment the orange-ish stucco that is the building. I don’t know what this hole was there for, it was simply empty with no bricks surrounding and didn’t lead anywhere. I’m excited to be branching out into Hollywood, expect a lot more in the Mid City area for a while.
I had a small posse while installing this piece, my usual photographer Greg Tuzin and my talented friend Jeni Wamberg. This was a late night install as you can tell by the photos, I love the affect! We’ll swing by soon to get some day time photos.
All photos © Greg Tuzin
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!
Happy friday! First off, I want to thank everyone for all your amazing comments of support, ideas, and criticism. I’m not stressed by my latest geode being taken any longer; I think I was more shocked at the time that its life was so short (the shortest of any piece) and that my first attempt to extend its life utterly failed. I’ve always had a hard time with “starting over” when things don’t work out the first time.
I do believe the beauty of this project is that these pieces are temporary, that’s why I started out not even trying to glue them. They were all just placed into their little homes. If these are truly urban treasures that parody natures’ treasures, “humans are a force” that affects them too (thank you to my genius sister Kara).
Now! For the fun part. You all saw my “missing” art installation to replace my art installation? I received my first google voicemail today! This kind fellow let me know that he has “no information about [my] missing art”. Click the play button below to hear:
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
Below is my first reaction to my stolen geodes. The public used to have a cool piece of art, now they get an ugly sheet of paper. I made a google voice number just for the occasion, it’d be great to actually get a call, though I don’t plan on it! Maybe it’ll be from the city…pissed off that I wheat pasted something uglier than they tore out? This is hopefully more permanent.
I don’t think this belongs in every place a geode has been taken, but this large metal surface was just asking for a replacement. I cannot make a new one as I can see where they tore the geode out (the glue is still there) and they would do it again.
I had a dream last night that someone had written down an address on my sign to where it was. I went there and saw it was removed to a shitty storefront and I actually had to “steal” it back. Kind of a fun dream, but also irritating to my psyche.
The purpose of this post is just to rant.
I passed by my latest geode last night, the large purple one, and it was gone! …What the hell? I’m perplexed on this one—it stood up to the kind of heavy rain a day after it went in, it’s in a piece of obsolete pay phone encasing, and it was pretty. This is the most frustrating of the bunch because either it was stolen purely because someone really loved it and wanted it for their own or because the city is a bunch of dicks and said, “We just can’t have this art just sitting in this city property, harumph”. They had to go through the trouble of tearing it out because it was glued too.
This is incredibly frustrating in every way. I really don’t care that they don’t last long for other reasons besides just plain being taken. I work incredibly hard to make these and spend all my extra time and don’t have much free time besides half the weekend. I’m feeling like I took big steps forward last week with new work and a little press only to take twice as many giant steps back this week. I feel like people are bad, coming at me from all sides and personally attacking me (this comes from other issues in addition!).
Anyways, the conclusion I’ve come to is that I’m going to finish the ones I have going right now and not do them any more. At least the way that I’m doing them. It’s so much work and only four still exist—three of which I was actually asked to do. I am, however, attempting to create them in other ways that do not take as long, but they will look completely different. Idea still there, method dead.