Archive for the Projects Category

Glass Paintings

Posted in Painting, Projects with tags , , , , on September 11, 2010 by michaelchernoff

I’m taking no credits in painting this year and have never taken a fully devoted painting course. But I am still painting this year on the side of my studios just to see what will come of my work. In turn my living room wall and corner have become a mini studio. Right now I’m using acrylic but soon small oil paintings too. As for the glass I found these large glass windows that were discarded by residents or landlords in Alfred due to renovations. I thought I could use these for neon at first.

Lately in my sketchbook I’ve been illustrating deformed or mutated individuals based from research pictures on the internet. Maybe the thought was drawn out by Sylvie Demers paintings and prints junior year, but I conceived the window as being a frame of reference for ill-looking people to peek into the company of the viewer. Also since the paintings can be looked at from two sides made a conceptual interest arise too.

Painting on the glass is fun since its smooth and fits my loose sense of laying down color and shape in painting. The glass allows mistakes to be taken back as well. Using a little amount of water on my finger can erase portions of the picture. But using too much water mixed with paint on the brush can change the painting against my wishes. I’m not sure how many I can make of these since I need more window frames and I’m not sure how long the images will last. I’m afraid to move them around if they shatter or the paint could get scratched. I’m contemplating possible using them in a video or photo project by erasing the painting from the windows as a performance. Until then they will continue to sit against my walls untitled.

Sandwich Eyes

Posted in Painting, Projects with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2010 by michaelchernoff

Recently I glued a pair of googly eyes onto a small oil painting I made from an abandoned breakfast sandwich left outside my painting studio door last year. Instead of throwing the sandwich away I kept it for a still life and even after I finished the painting I kept the food in my space for 14 days until someone threw it away. I assume Hope Zaccagni was the one who tossed it for me. I was very attached to the item and even attacked some of my peers when one work night it disappeared and was told Hope came in and disposed of it. I was so mad that I started shouting her name but Nadine Titus and Emily Smith confessed to hiding…I tackled Emily and she got a little afraid. No one was hurt, but I raged for 4 minutes and then laughed.

Currently this canvas is being held hostage with my lady Chloe Tran and it was supposed to be given to my friend John Gill for an exchange of two prints. I’m not sure when or if I can get it back soon for him but I may follow a similar method of modeling and paint some additional sandwiches with the googly eyes. I’m may stop in at Terra Cotta and see how often discarded sandwiches are left sitting on plates. Or I may make sandwiches in my kitchen and paint them in bursts and keep them refrigerated. We’ll see if anything comes of it…in the end I really like googly eyes.

Art Scenery

Posted in Art Industry, Music, Politics, Projects with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 13, 2010 by michaelchernoff

When I googled Albany NY artwork…one of the 3rd image that came up was the one above. It pretty much sums up what the visual arts environment is in the city as dull. There is practically nothing exciting here even-though NY state is a powerhouse supporter of American and international art efforts. Buffalo and Rochester seem to have more going on there than the state capitol. Even small towns in Massachusetts like the Clarke Institute and Mass MoCA exist there and yet Albany has nothing close to a contemporary art museum. The Art History Museum in Albany has a bunch of early American imitation Romantic sculpture and painting but almost never new art except for regional competitions. A lot of the private galleries in Albany seem stuck on themselves and give exclusive shows but guess what? They are located in Albany so nobody cares that much about their prestige. In the end there is no scene here and if there are people in the city that think there is they had better high tale it somewhere else if they want a career. Troy NY has the actual scene and everyone in Albany doesn’t comprehend that they have real contemporary institutes. They have an Arts Center and but its named the Capitol Region Arts Center…I know where it belongs.

After graduation I have no intentions of looking for work in Albany because there is not a future. There is no fertile support from city government or any grand institution…just Lark Fest. Aside from a few intelligent entrepreneurial artisans the rest are a rabble of makers who can’t get over how unwanted their bad pen drawings and acrylic paintings are. Sometimes I see the same drawings up in galleries and stands for consecutive years. Usually after a years time it’s a sign to stop promoting your failing work and make something better and hide it away for the day you become a superstar and have retrospective show in 20 years. The only gallery I affiliate with is the UAG on Lark Street. They are open and nice people and its fine for a quick show. But I don’t get the sense that anyone is building a major career there even among the names of the makers I appreciate. I don’t where publicity can come from in Albany that is outside its bubble. I haven’t had a major show yet solo or group wise but there seems to be some seriousness missing in the landscape.

There are no public competitions which is sad. Another sign of poor quality thinking in the city is all the unimaginative and juvenile graffiti all over Albany. In Spain they had more great graffiti than the cities could handle. Business owners pay artists to muralise their store fronts so that they don’t get vandalized out of respect. Some sites have been eliminated by Spanish government with so much excess. A little could stand to come over here. Instead of allowing hacks to tag the walls of Albany juried graffiti and mural contests could happen. There is so much available space in Albany. Work would be encouraged and paid for and the city would get a face lift.

Even UAG slackens a little as much as I consider the best open gallery in Albany (there are only 2 in the city I haven’t visited). Last night for a second time I went to the gallery to hear live music from rock and noise bands. On the one hand its positive that the gallery lets these young musicians use the small space as a free venue. And yet…the sound system is terrible, there is no one from the gallery supervising the event, the room itself probably isn’t the best for listening, and there is no advertising. I guess that’s a good deal for a band that isn’t paid for the event. Also you cannot really mosh or dance in an area where you might knock work of the walls and shatter glass frames from Michaels. I did hear some good bands like


LOFI Kabuki

X.N.T. (Jazz Trio: They do a lot of improvising but they sounded better than the last time I heard them perform)

Unfortunately I would not encourage bands to play at the gallery. There is not much profit unless you can really attract a crowd through a posse. In the end the creative world of Albany is a bad joke. Maybe if build a new arts museum, a public school that excels in visual arts instead of theater and music, have a real gallery district with regular hours, and city art competitions; then there could be a start for something better than half-assed attempts of pretending their a cosmopolitan air in the city of Albany.

Grotesque studies

Posted in Painting, Projects with tags , , , , , on July 28, 2010 by michaelchernoff

I don’t have any drawings scanned right now but I started sketching in pen internet pictures of human facial deformities and some corpses. After taking a caricature history course the term grotesque was hammered into my mind as a form of bodily condition and setting. I’m also a big fan of David Cronenberg’s use of bodily mutation and decay so I have wanted to get into painting warped human figures. Here are some the sources I copied from today.

Upcoming enviornments

Posted in Projects with tags , , , , on July 26, 2010 by michaelchernoff

I was just in the shower removing the dirt from yard work this morning and swimming yesterday. It must have been after I put some new body and hair conditioner that my mom unexpectedly bought for me that a vision sprouted inside me. Before the shower and during the previous school year I considered having my senior show formatted as a cell encased environment. In my sophomore year I saw Elena Grajek’s show and it was her video and print work spaced out with furniture and decorative objects. She won best show at Alfred for her class year. Ever since I have wanted to produce a space without the usual white walls and pedestals of most senior show exhibits. That type of display screams commercial intentions and it is not a goal for me to focus on selling work. There is no point in making a gallery display if your not selling. Former graduate Ben Hyland told me I should be looking for a way to surprise my professors…pushing my work past their expectations.

A lot of work gravitates towards weird mental obsessions or playing. A big obstacle in my time is escaping mundane waiting, WAITING. For example if I’m not driving a car and am a passenger and don’t want to look at the scenery, I open a book. Using waiting time for self gratification or growth is a plus for me. But people are always stuck waiting for something. More of our time seems eaten by getting there than doing it. And it struck me, a waiting room. But not just a waiting room a semi-antithesis of a waiting room and the feelings encased in a waiting room expressed on walls, chairs, floor, decor, and devices in a waiting room space. Most of the work I imagine will be video, photo, and print work. With this new development I think I want sculpture as well; after seeing Picasso and Miro’s bronze cast sculptures of objects integrated to produce a new object I felt disheartened. Sad that I had given up on sculpture in Alfred because of the dogma of clay. I want hand building and foundry now, I’ll probably have to infiltrate the foundry some how because I want to make models resembling humans waiting in chairs.

I cannot say for sure what the work will be…I intend to spend the fall semester working on material art instead of the environment. I think I may want my own walls also instead of the schools. I may ask Eric to make them instead of building them. So much planning I can’t wait to put this all into action. More details will follow on the site.

What Kind of Photographer am I?

Posted in Photography, Projects with tags , , on June 9, 2010 by michaelchernoff

It is reaching close to the point where I must deicide what I am doing for a photography project in Barcelona. I keep looking to the negatives and jpegs I have shot all being people, objects, and landscapes mostly urban. I keep trying to shoot architecture but eventhough I enjoy looking at buildings the results are rarily what I want. I need cititis with wide areas and busy activity and Barcelona is calmer than other places I have been in.

So landscape seems to be out of the picture and then I started thinking about my past work and what photos I enjoyed seeing everyday and putting on this blog. originally I thought these photos were nudes and cerebral photography. I put these labels on the pictures because I thought it would to be formal or traditional to just call them what I realised they are. I make portrait photography…I use human bodies and thought a portrait is someone standing staring into a camera or sitting for a painting. But not everything I make is a document of person even if the project is not supposed to identify with their persona…inevitably it does because mannerism reveal themselves in modeling.

Having people lift shirts over their heads and being covered in string made me believe that the material covering bodies was the focus. Instead I should be considering these photos indirectly as portraits. So are my friends models or portrait subjects. Well I am done guessing what I am doing here. I should be taking portraits of people…in color and black and white film. Digital is fine for walking around the city and capturing architecture, but persons will be devoted soley on T 400 Kodak film and Tri-X.

Also I really am into photographing advertisement around the city. Some light glares and reflection looks great and other times poor. This another route I could take too in the project. I’ll have to see what is well received tomorrow.

In this last year I feel that my photographic skills have improved simply because I concluded technically I was dumb when it came to shooting photos. It seemed like dumb luck was on my side with 35mm…now I feel competent again and coming to Barcelona has made acknowledge what photos could be instead of are.

Black Lights

Posted in Movie, Projects with tags , on February 6, 2010 by michaelchernoff

Lately I’ve had strange thoughts for incorporating black lights and flourescent colors in photo, video, and painting projects. Yet I don’t own any black lights yet or liquid materials that illuminate from the lamps. But the scene from Batman Forever as corny as it is really made an impression on me. The whole set design is zany in the campy flick and is probably the only thing that was done right in the film. If you watch the video above just hang in past Nicole Kidman’s scene and the backlight rumble is in there…with glowstick rods!!!