Friday, October 17, 2014

Interview - Baratta / Applin / Watt

The following is an interview I conducted with Carl Baratta, Isak Applin and Oli Watt over email about their collaborative woodcut prints, which are featured in the exhibition They Pass Unseen In the World at SideCar.

Isak Applin, Carl Baratta & Oli Watt • What's Time to a Disappointed God II • 2012 •
woodcut on paper • 24 x 24 inches

ERIK WENZEL: Can you tell me a little about the process, how the collaboration came about and so on?
Were there any historic precedents you were looking at or specific artists/groups? I guess it tends to be a common read with wood blocks, but the images I saw made me think of German Expressionism. Particularly with the wild nature imagery.

CARL BARATTA: I'm waiting for some paint to dry (my dog licked some of a new painting off and now it's repair city USA/ bummer city, USSR). [Baratta paints with egg tempera—dogs can’t resist.]

Anyway, to answer your questions: I can speak for the process I have with those guys but Isak and Oli can explain their collaborations. Isak and I pass wood blocks back and forth. We both draw on them and talk about ideas for moods and composition. Sometimes we draw on un-carved areas and hand it to the other guy, as a guide to what we think should go next. But we don't always follow what the other person drew. Since we both draw and carve, Isak tries to draw like me and vice versa, same with the carved drawing marks. What ends up happening is we still kind of look like ourselves when carving/drawing but it creates intermediary marks that look like both of us, so the image is unified.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Ger van Elk

“What I want is a realistic depiction of unrealistic situations”
said Ger van Elk in a 1977 interview. (Via Artforum.com's obituary)

Van Elk's sensibility was characterized by simple, humorous and often touching gestures. The artist's direct approach is perfectly on display in the piece he contributed to Gery Schum's Fernsehgalerie. In the 1960s and 70s Gerry Schum ran a television gallery, an entity whose exhibitions existed only as broadcasts on German television. For the exhibition themed "Identifications" van Elk produced the work seen below.

Ger van Elk died on August 17th at the age of 73.

Ger van Elk • The Well-Shaven Cactus • 1970 • from Indentifications  - Fernsehausstellung II, Fernsehgalerie Schum

For you videophiles out there, you can also find a high quality transfer on vimeo.



Thursday, July 10, 2014

JULY 10, 2014

On Kawara • I AM STILL ALIVE • telegram sent in 1979 • via Bukowski's


JAN. 2, 1933

JULY 10, 2014