60-Foot Golden Rule

This piece was made in response to the premise of the Super Santa Barbara show set forth by Warren Schultheis and by the proposed Measure B in the fall of 2009.

60 Foot Golden Rule Installation at CAF

60-Foot Golden Rule, 2009
Imitation gold Leaf, wood, acrylic paint, and hinges
Dimensions Variable depending on installation (Stretched out it measures 60′ x 1-1/2″ x 3/4″)


This sculpture integrates the current building height limit measurement of 60 feet, which is being challenged for reduction by measure B, with an ethical standard of measurement the Golden Rule, commonly known as “do unto others as you would have done to you.”

Similar variations on this statement exist and their translations speak to the greater complexity of the issue by alluding to  neighbor, measure, and imposition.
“What you wish your neighbors to be to you, such be also to them.” – Sextus the Pythagorean
“Woe to those . . . who, when they have to receive by measure from men, exact full measure, but when they have to give by measure or weight to men, give less than due” – Muhammad
“ Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.” — Confucius, Analects XV.24 (tr. David Hinton)

These translations become interesting when we consider one of the major financial supporters of measure B is a Texas developer named Randall Van Wolfswinkel, who has benefitted from building housing developments in Texas.

The gold leafed reclaimed and distressed boards show a golden, yet weathered rule. It’s been used, it’s been abused, and yet is endures. It demonstrates work to compromise and work to maintain the golden rule as the “gold standard” of ethics. There is a less attractive red side that’s left exposed on the underneath and  is covered by the gold on the remaining three sides. The distressed nature of the wood reminds us of architecture and materials.

All quotes,  Ethic of reciprocity , Wikipedia, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethic_of_reciprocity)

Since the making of this piece, Measure B was voted down by the citizens of Santa Barbara and the 60-Foot height limit stands.

Unidentified Fotographed Objects Series (UFOs)

These images explore photographing objects in great detail and the abstract.  Objects’ components can serve a purpose, in addition to the overall use of the object.  Their subtle subtexts are often overlooked and yet felt unknowingly by the user.  Using color; translucency; material; shape; or texture, the object makers convey a desired experience by their choices.  The detailed approach renders the objects unidentifiable.  The “Ph” in Photographed was changed to an “F”, so that the title of the series plays with the idea of UFOs.  The objects could be things we may not recognize, but may be aspects of our everyday humdrum world.  In addition, the title seeks to convey that these objects could also be unknown or foreign to us.  Through this means of depiction, we experience them first as their essence.  Should we ever find these objects in real life we could build a picture of them from the inside out.

Unidentified Fotographed Objects Series 1


Mounting on Aluminum and other options

Archival Mounting Panels up to11-3/4 x 15-3/4

Aluminum Mounting by Weldon Color Lab I recommend Weldon Color Lab for Aluminum Mounting.  They do both a matte or mirror (glossy) finish.  In addition you can have them put gatorboard backings or wood canvas stretcher type supports.  They can leave an aluminum border or trim to the edge of the print.  I tend to have them do the mounting and Lexan Matte finish.  Then I put a gatorboard and mirror strap hanging device on the back with the appropriate Liquid Nails foam to metal.  So far I have had no problems with the bonding.

Blue Looking Glass Series

These photographs were taken using a blue walled children’s viewing toy.  The shape of the “Blue Looking Glass”  informs each of the images by creating a border of varying hues around the central circular viewing space.  Intimate, interior spaces were photographed through this man-made funnel to give a picture of how safe places could look through altered sight – a possibly tenuous defect for humans. (Though not necessarily for other creatures, who are equipped to see the world differently.)  Some of the photographs mimic a Cubist approach to fracturing space, though the color palette of the Blue Looking Glass series is more rich, varied, and inviting.

Blue Looking Glass

Blue Looking Glass Series

Underneath the Sheets series

The Underneath the Sheets series was inspired by the premise of a Westmont College Reynolds Gallery exhibition entitled Interior Spaces.  The photographs explore a space that is typically overlooked: those small slow moments of light and color that filter through the sheets.  Sheets were moved and lit, but no other visual devices were used to distort their documentation.  A decision was made to make the images melt by keeping them out of focus. Without glasses or contacts, this is how I see those little spaces – blurs of light and color that are soft, warm and seductive.   This unfocused treatment references the way this space is inhabited and viewed by humans regardless of their visual acuity: in sleep, dream, or drugged seduction.  Only two shots include skin in them, however, some of the shapes emulate body parts, which adds another clue to the subject of this series.

Underneath the Sheets Series

Printed Toile Politics

Re: SBMA “Slave to Fashion: Yinka Shonibare and Printed Textile History” talk by Starr Siegele, Adjunct Curator of Prints, Allentown Art Museum, and Independent Scholar. Printed toile was mentioned with stories of the plight of the slaves. Abolitionists used them as curtains, bedding, wall fabric to comment or make a statement. How subtle this was – a beautiful house decoration with a political statement. It made me wonder why this type of commentary went out of style?  Are we a society of no comment, because we “tastefully” use solid colors, stripes, or bucolic scenes? I’d like to see this type of in-home commentary come back in style.  In looking for a example of the printed toiles mentioned during the talk, I found a contemporary designer named Sheila Bridge who created a new toile Harlem Toile de Jouy. I see it as one next step in the dialogue of this tradition through the control of imagery. Sheila Bridge’s Harlem Toile de Jouy A funny personal side note to my comments is that solids, stripes, etc could be commentary in my house since I have an abstract agenda. : )

Call for Entry Resources for fine artists/curators

Online Call For Entry Submissions and Curating.  Streamlines and regulates the process for Curators instead of weeding through CD’s/slides/emails.  For artists, provides a great way to have a digital submission database of images and submit online.

Slick and sophisticated, Slideroom can be stylized to simulate your website with organization’s logo, colors, etc.  This seems like a great site for organizations with bigger budgets and lots of juried shows. Artists can upload statements and resumes along with their digital images.  For the curator,  online controls include  a meter to rate the quality of the work, view large or in thumbnail form.  There is an administrator section which allows the institution to manage how the curator can look at the work, and what needs to be submitted.  I haven’t used this yet, but it looks like a great program.

Call For Entry
This is a simpler site and more useful for artists who are interested in submitting to open juried shows.  A list of the juried shows is posted on the site and you can directly submit images from your portfolio and pay any associated fees.  It’s free for artists to use the site, and there is a payment the organizations/curators have to make. I used it for a juried exhibition recently and found it easy to submit using their standard guidelines.  Once you pick which images you want for the exhibition consideration, they are committed until the selection is made by the juror.  What’s really great about this for artists is you can keep works on the site and when they are free to submit again, you can submit to another juried show you see on their site that you like.  You don’t have to re-upload the same files.  Allows you to input dimensions, title, medium, price, etc.  Didn’t see anything for resume or statement, but maybe that’s something to do with the competition I entered?

Both sites are an excellent addition to the art competition circuit and both seem very user friendly.