I don't know about the rest of you, but looking at some eye candy usually gets my creative juices flowin'. I've got art books GALORE at home, live near some of the best museums and galleries in the world and as if that's not enough, I've got the internet at my fingertips...surf's up!
What do I look at when feeling blocked or bored or just feeling like I need an infusion of "different"?
SCULPTURE! Now, I'm not talkin' your cast in bronze, chipped away marble, made by dead white guys type o' sculpture. I have two degrees in fine art people and I've seen enough stone nudies and read enough 1000 lb. historical and critical texts to provoke me headlong into a vat tequila (with a twist of lime thank you very much) in order to quell of the pain of my migraine upon opening the book and sifting through the po-mo blather. No, I am referring to my contemporaries (read not dead, not all men, not all white) who, well, make some rockin' stuff! Upon first viewing of a sculpture or object I admire, I want my first reaction to be, "Damn, I should have made that!" It doesn't always happen that way. Who am I kidding? That feeling happens 0.0001% of the time! However, when I do hit the I-should-have-made-that-amazing-object range, I feel totally visually sated. And this my friends, is a very good thing.
On a side note, my undergraduate degree is actually in sculpture AND fibers. I've always loved making three dimensional objects. I visualize my future creations in my mind's eye in three dimensions. I am a sculptor in my heart and soul....
Sculptors or Object Makers to look at (in no particular order, just off the top of my head):
*New* Liza Lou - Um, need your whole kitchen beaded??? Maybe your barbeque??? Hell, how 'bout beaded hamburgers and hotdogs??? Liza is the answer to your prayer. I cannot believe I forgot Liza! In a word, AMAZING. I actually saw a completely beaded backyard-themed installation by her at the Santa Monica Museum. Can you say, oh, my, God???
*New* Joseph Beuys - Conceptual sculpture by an artist who could be considered an institution, IMHO. Thank you to Natasha for reminding me of his greatness!
Tim Hawkinson - Love him, love him, LOVE HIM! Are you catching my drift here? This man makes some of the most interesting stuff out there out of some of the most mundane materials on the planet. Just dragged the hubby and the parental unit to his solo exhibition at LACMA and all three of us LOVED it. Woooohoooo!
Peter Shelton - Oh, several years ago now I saw this artist's solo exhibition at LACMA. It was genius! And I still remember the name of it: bottlesandbonesandthingsgetwet (yes, it is all one word, I haven't gone into some strange E.E. Cummings mode or anything). His work is awesome and he's a nice guy. Mr. Shelton lectured to my class when I was undergoing my MFA "programming" at CGU. This man rocks, rocks, ROCKS!
Martin Puryear - Ahhhh, not often do I call any artist's work a gift from God. However, Martin Puryear's work is an exception. In a word, stunning. He is an amazing craftsperson and his pieces are both beautiful and true. Unfortunately, photos do not do justice to this man's genius. To truly appreciate his work, you must see it in person if you ever get the chance.
Robert Gober - From ginormous installations to small objects, Gober's work confronts identity, loss, childhood, the psyche like nobody's business. I am usually rendered speechless by his amazing creations. I mean, what does one say about a perfectly rendered wax leg, fully dressed in business attire, sticking directly out of the wall as if about to trip the viewer???
Magdalena Abakanowicz - This fabulous artist is the MOTHER of all fiber sculptors, IMHO. She is the inspiration for much of my work, yes, even the crazy vegetable stuff. I cannot tell you how familiar her work felt to me upon first glance. It was almost like I knew her. I even named my daughter after her. You must look at her work!
Mark Newport - Amazing knitted costumes and embroidered comic books!!!
Annette Messager - Um, dead taxidermied birds in knitted sweaters...I'm not making this stuff up, I swear!
Kiki Smith - Kiki is a multi-media artist extraordinaire! She is not afraid of any medium and will use metal, wood, fabric with abandon. Not long ago this artist created a series based upon fairy tales and the work is astounding. Love it!
Andy Goldsworthy - Andy Goldsworthy does things with and to natural objects that even leaves Mother Nature scratching her head in disbelief. If you are not familiar with the artist's work, step away from this blog and google this guy's name right now! A MUST SEE!
Rebecca Horn - Awesome performative, mechanical & stationary works. This German artist never disappoints!
Robert Theirren - All I can say is very large beards...nuff said.
Bruce Nauman - Another one of my all time faves. Smart sculpture that always, always makes me laugh.
Rachel Lachowicz - One of my profs in grad school. Art materials she utilizes: eye shadow, lipstick, Excedrin & Excedrin PM (no, I am not lying). Amazingly funny work from a chick who makes rockin' art.
Charles Ray - Really big mannequins and other errata. Disturbingly good work.
Lee Bontecou - Need eyeballs??? This is your gal!
Other sculpture/sculptor resources:
Thing - Awesome Los Angeles contemporary sculpture exhibit.
International Sculpture Center - Publishers of Sculpture magazine and international source for all things sculpture.
Not the Knitting You Know - Great knitted and crocheted sculpture exhibit.
There is so much out there to see object-wise. This is by no means a definitive list, but a starting point (and it is obviously skewed to my aesthetic). If anyone has anything or anyone to add to this list, email me. Happy weekend everyone!