Molded Glory

I am having a hard time with the final medium. Is it a photograph, or a sculpture, that I am producing and that is to be finally exhibited? Typically, the prima materia and the polychroming are just stage directions for the ultimate photograph that I envision. But sometimes, when I experience the final piece, I have a second thought because the object itself is so engaging.

This piece is a good example of what I mean. It’s one of my first finished objects, and not at all what I expected. I was discovering how the fibers hold paint, and how the surface holds varnish, and expected this to become a basic primary color intersection piece. But my brain is apparently still processing two influences: the Jasper Johns show at the Met some months ago; and the many US flags I saw posted around the Commercial Printers facility while I worked with their Fuji Lanovia scanner over the summer

Molded Glory

Post-modern kitsch? Maybe, but that’s not the point. What is the point is that the finished object seemed enough. A further step of objectifying it through photography seemed, well, inappropriate, at least for this piece. So here I’ve totally stepped out of character by first of all creating a subject as opposed to an object, and then gone even further by protecting its subjectiveness from the ravages of the camera obscura.

The precursor to this dilemma was the PET clamshell molding that previously obsessed my spirit. I had all intentions (and still do) of generating fully three-dimensional sculptures from that kind of packaging, except for one obstacle; so many of the clamshells that I acquired were more like reliefs than sculptures, carded blister packs rather than fully-enveloping clamshells. So I ended up mounting them on Sintra and photographing them, and then ultimately rejecting the photographs in favor of the objects themselves.

And so here I am again. I have produced no final photographic work for this piece, because, well, the piece itself seems enough. All I have is this snap from my Fuji f31fd P&S to record the piece, and then off it goes to my friend at EnviroPAK, the provider of the piece of prima materia, as a Christmas gift.

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