Monday, November 21, 2005

Additions to Previous West Virginia Post

On the way to that swath of mountain destruction, this road led by this stark coal tipple. Only the tiniest suggestion of a conveyor belt on the hillside to the left is still remant, and otherwise, just an overgrown road. This definetly would've loaded freight cars, but I didn't see any remains of a railroad, which is curious. When coming upon this massive structure, it really jumps out- its quite tall, and so narrow to, with no connection to anything else like a wire, walkway, or support. It is just an isolated pillar of former prosperity. ... prosperity that was undoubtably the property of the coal mining company, not its mass of impoverished workers.
I still can't figure out how to sort these photos in a multiple post, so let it be clear that this middle photo has nothing to do with the top and bottom; it is from that lime (?) quarry and tipple. I just found the picture, and liked it quite a bit, for it really shows the height of the main structure, and the precariousness of both foot crossings across the river. Choose from the wobbly, crumbling rope bridge, or the jagged, uneven walkway directly in the foreground!

Back to that first subject: here is a view from the top floor of the tipple. I didn't take this photo with the intention of surrealism

Click on Image to Enlarge

A scene from Iraq, work in progress.

This a peice I recently finished, but I get alot of questions about its creation, so I'm showing that too. To start, here is about 15 hours of work on a weekend, creating this much out of a white gesso painted peice of plywood. It depicts a scene from Iraq that is concoted from various real events, both factual and percieved- specifically, the backround is from two semi-aerial photos I found online of the city of Najaf, after a 500-pound bomb was dropped in the middle of a marketplace by the US military. This scene forms the backround. In front, I wanted to show soldiers who are saddened and digusted, yet also with the possibility of a concious opposition to the events.
Everything in the peice is materials found in the various industrial sites of where I live, because I decided, after doing peices about the war before, to make this one literally out of waht made the war: the economic decay of our late capitolist society. I gathered proof of that decay, namely the various remants of factories, warehouses, and other industrial areas, from at least 40 different places, sorted it, and began. Also, everything is attached with white glue, either straight out of the model, or paint on with a cheap brush with varying degrees of water.
In a few weeks, I'll document finding all this stuff, because that actually took as long as the peice took to make. Here, though, I've so far done the backround, out of four varieties of dirt/sand/filth, along with some paint chips. The face on the right has wood as the skin colored highlights, cut and fit according to hue, and then the rest is filled in using a wider variety of the dirts, sands, and filths. I had about 15 varieties of dirt/sand/filth today, in different sizes too. Also, I have started the sheds in the foreground, creating "bricks" out of cut up cloth, and using roofing shingling for.. shingling.
After another week: now a wall, made out of the mortar in between bricks, except I flipped it horizonatally to make it look like bricks inself. Behind it, I placed a peice of rebar and several peices of rail that were sheered of a sharp railroad curve from the repeated passage of heavy railroad cars. I've added some detail to the sheds, including curtains that are actually peeling paint, and the metal remains of market stalls in the midground made out of fine peices of rust. The second face is in a multi-color stencil style, using a few flaps from cardboard boxes of new lightbulbs I found in an abandoned (power station?) I simply sorted the cardboard based on the hues weathering made, and then used a different hue from each color.
After I believe another week, I've arrived at a completely filled in, but still not finished peice. The most obvious edition is the unifroms, made out of clothing I found, and wealthered a wee bit with dirts and such. Along with that, I've added smoke from the 500-pound bomb US forces dropped in the backround, and various details to the backround.