I once worked for a MacArthur genius. Among her many talents was a tremendously high value for people — she conveyed that no matter how smart you are or how much recognition you get, you’re only as good as the people on your team.
Even geniuses don’t go it alone.
Recently I’ve had the good fortune of working with really bright and hard-working artists.
I’ve been working alongside visual arts staff and crew at YBCA who cultivate respect and teamwork. They’re artists, students, musicians, designers and artist’s assistants who are skilled and friendly. It’s been really awesome to be partly responsible for actualizing a massive art exhibition. As a solo artist, it’s easy for me to shape my work around what’s do-able for me, but this experience has shown me firsthand the impressive scale of what resources, organization and manpower can accomplish. It’s also clarified for me that working hard is really enjoyable when you’ve got good tools, peers with good attitudes, and the environment to apply one’s skills and be efficacious.
This is all in the context of helping artists realize their projects for the upcoming exhibition, Wallworks. My former CCA professor Chris Finley is installing a huge installation of vinyl, paint, string and even more stuff, that starts with vector art and shoots off. I’ve also been helping Makoto Aida, one of the mellowest artists I’ve ever worked with, never mind the language barriers. Here’s a photo of the hand of Osamu-san, Aida-san’s equally amiable assistant:
(Sean and Kyle are tireless YBCA crew members at who’ve assisted Aida as well.)
Odili Donald Odita, from Philly, has created some really enjoyable, flawless, geometric wall paintings. Yehudit Sasportas, of Berlin, is contributing a truly massive b/w, high-contrast wall painting that’s eerily more like graphic design than painting. The way the flat black background falls away behind the white linework is really wonderful.
Also in the show will be new works by Leslie Shows, Amanda Ross-Ho, Tillman Kaiser and Edgar Arcenaux. Beside the fact that I helped to install the show, I think it’s a really great concept for a show and many of the works will be completely unlike anything you’ve seen in a while.
Wallworks opens Friday, August 3, from 8-11pm.