here’s a photogram of my paper clip collection. yes. i collect paper clips. i’m sure i have mentioned this collection numerous times before. and yes i made this photogram—in a dark room. they still exist for my pleasure.
paper clips. a perfect collection for new york city. they don’t take up much room and they are pretty cool. i have written about this collection before, in that, when i attend paper fairs, i look at old documents hoping to discover a paper clip that i don’t have. there are many different shapes and if you look carefully you will see no two like. 48 distinct shapes. the majority are pretty old. they have names like: the niagara, the gem, the eureka, the banjo clip, the owl clip. don’t you just love it. i learned more about my collection when linda sullivan, a professor of design at byu, gave me a copy of henry petroski’s evolution of useful things. there is a chapter on the paper clip and i just loved it. such a simple object with such a history. petroski tells how paper clips were worn as a sign of defiance. cool, right. the book is worth reading. i personally just love the different shapes and the notion or idea that this simple form merits such refinement. it works for me and i am thrilled when i discover a shape i have never seen before. i thought the best way to display my collection was in the form of a photogram. the last time i was in a dark room was in grad school, twenty five years ago. quite a while ago. wow a generation in fact. my daughter came along and actually kept things going when i would got too obsessive. nice to have a level headed person around. an amazing fact about new york is that there is just about everything for everyone. i went to this great brooklyn studio where theo, the owner, had prepared a proper darkroom for me and my daughter. the chemicals mixed. proper instruction and everything in it’s place. we spent the next three hours getting the right density of black and making several compositions. at twenty bucks an hour it was well worth it. spending three hours with your daughter and doing something cool. a wonderful memory. she added a great deal to the experience and what a wonderful result it is. i put one of the photograms in my show but this particular one did not make it. the one that did is gridded and shows a more taxonomy-like approach to the clips. happily, gladly, surprisingly someone bought it. how about that. my show ends on the tenth of december do stop by.
for those of you who made it to my first opening, thanks so much. i was so worried that i would need to stand on the corner and hand out ten dollar bills. it was lovely to see old friends, current friends and make new ones. a special thanks goes to andrew, patrick, lulu, laura, brad, pedro, marlene, and stephanie. all of which, without their help, this event would not have taken place. these last few years have been trying ones for me. i have had support from friends and family which is so important. i am not an easy person to live with and i often cannot see the forest for the trees. i hope everyone enjoyed themselves. for those of you who didn’t make the opening, here are a few pictures. i do hope you can stop by and see it. tell me what you think and most of i hope you enjoy it.
this thursday at mondocane i will be having my first exhibition based on my collections and other artwork. a few years back i made several bronze sculptures of one of my twine balls. everyone loved it. i actually gave one to martha stewart as a thank you for having me on her show. i started casting other objects that i had collected or found along my journeys. a rock. a pea pod. dried bananas. it is amazing how, once it is made of bronze, you look at it differently. i remember at risd, a sculpture student transformed benefit street by simply laying grass the entire block east of waterman street. i watched amazed as students took off their shoes, reached down and touched it. a grass lawn was but 100 feet away. something familiar had changed and how they perceived it changed too. this is my hope as well. please drop by the show. it’s up until the 5th of december.