The inaugural Exhibit, Mind Body Soul, was the talk of the town at the Lowell Ryan Projects back in January. The show is an masterpiece of masterpieces from the visions of artists Spencer Lewis, Samuel Jablon and Maysha Mohamedi. We got a few words in with these creative contributors to get a better feel for the inspirations and implications of their work.
There seems to be an element of fate in your process, the way you let the elements deteriorate and morph into something new. Was this intentional from the beginning, or was this too a decision left in the hands of fate?
I guess you could say I’m interested in chance but truthfully I’m interested in errors. The notion that fate could determine my decision making is interesting, I’m not sure I can prove otherwise and I like the idea that I would have no power over how I decide to decide. Specifically for this show Mike asked me to bring some elements from the studio, so it was a collaborative process here. I told him I have no problem making a mess. In the poem by Aaron Fogel the printers error, there are three type of errors.
"errors by chance,
errors by workers' protest,
and errors by
God's touch" ...
..."are in practice the
same and indistinguishable"
What refined your interest in simplicity, cardboard or jute textures? Was there separate processes in each slat of cardboard or jute? If so, how did you fit these separate, individual pieces into one work of art?
I like objects that are rough and shitty because I can abuse them. It is not the objects themselves that are simple rather my ideas. Cardboard and jute are degraded surfaces but of course very beautiful, but they are easy and economical, They are ultimately a character of production. So in this sense they are very direct, straightforward, and cannot be confused in the way canvas can be. In other words they are not obfuscated they are always an object and painting on an object is easier than painting on an illusion. The mystique of the artist is probably inescapable honestly, particularly in a gallery. I make the work in a very frenetic way. And I put pieces together simply by leaning one on the other. I guess I am interested in directness, at times, which is like simplicity.
How do you know when your process has ended?
Calder said a piece was done when it is time for dinner.