Ronald Reagan’s Egg, 1987 Lee Malerich, 2016
The making of a work of art involves searching in many ways: searching your soul, your opinion, your surroundings. And then organizing this information in the way it must be. The best work takes advantage of an expressive shape, and sometimes moves it into a foreign context. This is what I want to do. Connect unlike things. Connection is powerful; I watch my 22 month old grandson connect and sort and arrange often. It is his work.
Lots of materials are given to me. Some I buy, but won’t pay too much. It’s a game. I always wanted to do this while still teaching, but never did. Give each student the exact same group of materials, and have them put them together. Set the compositions up in a gallery and view the relationships and connections between the finished works. There, the artist exists. In that indefinable space.
My search for materials is always exciting. It is with the odd inspirational shape that the pieces begin. My windows are the canvas, only they have more than two dimensions. See the blue legs above? A great find from last Sunday. Have to hold myself back from cutting in to them. Must live with them for a while to make sure they end up in the correct piece.
Not many of the shapes in the works have I actually owned beyond as art materials. The piece above, Ronald Reagan’s Egg 1987, contains an exception and a story.
Ronald Reagan was in office at the time when he sent 249 other artists and me wooden eggs. Five from each state. We were to use the egg and work in our characteristic way to embellish it. We were given two. The exhibit was to accompany the annual egg roll which was celebrated each Monday after Easter on the White House lawn with children.
I was a stitcher at the time, and you can imagine my terror of having to do something with this surface. Spray painting them both black first seemed to be a smart thing as a stitching frenzy began.
Ended up stitching on my typical surface, cutting the stitched part off the frame and gluing it in a certain area of the egg. Then over and over again. A satin-stitched egg. Don’t even have a picture of the thing except in a flashy newspaper article done in “The State” on the five artists in SC that contributed. That was worth the trouble.
On a rampage through my studio for some elusive thing last week, I found the black egg that (laid) unused in a drawer. A yellow sticker on the flat bottom read “1987”. Raw material!
And an egg was currently a symbol/shape that I had been using, only the black egg was bigger.
F. Scott, 2015
This piece featuring the wooden roadster sinking into a surface has two eggs in it: one representing East Egg from “The Great Gatsby” and one representing West Egg. Just love it when the Universe provides the correct materials.