Cedar, everywhere

I’ve been back from Japan a week but Kyoto is still in my heart. The textures, the juxtapositions, and most of all

the fragrance of cedar, everywhere.

Shitakusa

Among bonsai enthusiasts there is a concept of shitakusa, companion plants.

These provide a sense of scale and setting to the bonsai.

bonsai.jpg

Shitakusa, above. From a bonsai exhibition in Waimea earlier this year.

 

This concept has lately taken hold and is sending forth emissaries.

companions.jpg

Shitakusa (2018). Works in progress. Companions, as yet, to the unknown.

"It isn't 'outsider art', fuckers; it's art."

"Alfred Barr got in trouble at MOMA for putting [outsider artist John Kane]'s work in the museum. Barr essentially got fired for including outsider artist Moros Hirschfield in a show. This is how closed all of our museums still are.

It isn't "outsider art", fuckers; it's art. Just art. - Jerry Saltz

 

(God bless you, Mr. Saltz.)

 

Fragment (2018). I like my outsider art to be truly outside. On the ground. In the gutter. Degraded. Disrupted. Damaged.

Don't Shoot Me Down! Popup Show

I am so excited to have 2 new pieces in a really cool popup show at Shockboxx in Hermosa Beach, CA. It's called Don't Shoot Me Down, an artful dialogue about guns in American culture, and it's in affiliation with March for Our Lives and the Brady Campaign.

Image uploaded from iOS.png

Check it out

Sept 1: 6-9pm

Sept 2: 1-5pm

 

 

I'm also excited about the work I have in the show.

A million years ago, before I started making abstract paintings and embroideries, I was doing more traditional embroidery. Using a hoop and 'real' stitches and working from patterns (albeit patterns that I created, based on found vector objects.) I haven't known what to do with all of this old work but this was the perfect opportunity to put it to good use. So for this show, I have taken some of my older pieces and combined them with new abstract paintings:

Ray_Joy_BabySteps.jpg
Ray_Joy_Profits&Loss.jpg

Baby Steps (2018) and Profits & Loss (2018). Soon to be appearing at the mighty Shockboxx!

Mini Hot! LA Popup Show

I'm very excited to be showing some of my Narrative Fragments for the first time at the Mini Hot! Popup Exhibition in LA from September 1-15 at Studio C Gallery, run by the inimitable Peggy Nichols. Hoping I can make it to the Aug 31 preview or the Sept 1 opening...

IMG_6037.JPG

"Couldn't really tell you."

"It's like asking Miles, how does your horn sound? He couldn't really tell you why he played it, why he plays this at this point in the music.

He's sort of on automatic, you know." - Jean-Michel Basquiat

(from Tamra Davis' movie, The Radiant Child. So good.)

Joy_Ray_Yes_2018.JPG

Yes (2018). Bring it.

"More than what it actually was."

"By taking a photograph and isolating things,

it could look like more than what it actually was.

We weren't really dreaming a future, we were dreaming a present." Judy Linn (re: photo sessions with Patti Smith in 1969)

 
IMG_E5634 sm.JPG

Fragment, 2018. Part of a larger story. Or not.

"It doesn't mean much."

"It is hard to tell what part is really yourself and what the work means. My feeling is that it doesn't mean much. It is a sort of presence that comes out of human beings and you either go for it or you don't. Really I have been thinking

nothing means too much." - Vija Celmins

 

IMG_E5443sm.JPG

Fragment (2018). Obsessed with scraps, with wreckage and ruin and chaos and accident. The pleasure of those things. The rightness.

"Underground channels, dark corners..."

"I am much more about intrigue...no direct, frontal denunciations,

I prefer underground channels, dark corners, meanders." - Annette Messager

 
IMG_5571 sm.JPG

A secret wish (2018). These dark corners are for you.

Bonjour, Jeanne Tripier.

There's this:

"Jeanne Tripier (1869-1944) wrote texts and did drawings, embroidery and crochet work. She considered all her creations to be mediumistic revelations. In her writings she frequently inserted small compositions executed in black, purple or blue ink to which she occasionally added hair dye, nail varnish, sugar or medicines."

And this:

 

ET VOILA: HOLY FUCKING SHIT.

ps: I really want to go to this exhibition.

"An experience of dislocation."

"It is really important to me that, whatever work one is looking at, there be an experience of dislocation so that you're suddenly not sure of where you thought you were, and of who you thought you were.

Your belief system gets jarred for a moment standing in front of something stationary and quiet." - Kara Walker

 

Details from Extreme Tenderness (2018). 1000s of tiny stitches. Attempts to mend the unmendable. Nothing to do with Kara Walker, but then again a bit like my heart after viewing one of her extraordinary pieces.

"Disastrous."

"I'm not happy anymore with leaving all the paintings untitled. I know that a title anchors the work, and there is a lot of beauty in that. But the wrong title can also be disastrous. So

I'M WAITING FOR SOMETHING...MAGICAL." - GUILLERMO KUITCA

 

IMG_5565.JPG

As yet untitled and unfinished (2018). I'm obsessed with spackle right now. And X's. And titles.

"Not a pleasant task."

"I really developed my writing skills strictly to fight the fact that I was always depicted as stupid. I didn't want to. I'm not a natural writer. I did it on purpose and it was not a pleasant task. I wasn't able to operate on the theoretical level that many of the other students and especially the faculty did. I knew what I was doing but I had a hard time convincing them, and now I can. I was overly sensitive to that but I realized that artists were usually considered the dupes of critics and

since there were no critics who were speaking for me, I had to write my own criticism."

- Mike Kelley

 

IMG_E5576.JPG

IF/THEN (2018). Thinking about the pleasantness, or unpleasantness, of tasks. Of spells and rituals. Of desire and outcomes.

Hilo exhibition.

I am beyond thrilled to have 3 pieces accepted to the upcoming Women's Exhibition at the Hawaii MOCA / East Hawaii Cultural Center! This is especially gratifying because it's the first place I ever exhibited any of my work. It's a lovely space, in a lovely town, run by lovely people.

I'm especially excited to be showing one of my new larger (45" x 45") pieces (a first!)

Update - more pix from the opening

It's up till July 27 and well worth the trip to Hilo.

IMG_5547.JPG

Bits & pieces.

For some reason I've been obsessed with little fragments, bits and pieces, since I got back from LA a week ago. This started on the airplane ride home; I cut some jagged pieces off a larger scrap and made a couple of little things on the plane.

PS there was an older lady next to me who (no joke) said, "Oh, what are you making? Can I watch?" And then she watched. And then I think she got very confused.

And I've kept at it since getting home.

Not sure where these are headed...maybe together? maybe not? maybe just a counterbalance/palette cleanser to the large pieces I was working on in May?

Photos are coming in...

Starting to get my new photos in from Anna Pacheco. Yay. xx

The magic of names.

I've been thinking about titles this week. I have a penchant for longish titles that imply a haunting narrative.

Case in point, Diedrick Brackens, whose work I saw at the Made in LA show. Some of his...

IMG_5192 - Copy.JPG

the flame goes

heaven is a muddy riverbed

opening tombs beneath the heart (at left)

in the decadence of silence

 

 

Another case in point, Michelle Kingdom, whose poetic embroideries I saw at bG Gallery.

IMG_5552 - Copy.JPG

They had been two flowers which had opened then and there

The shadows parted and fell to their feet

A spell so exquisite

Preparing for flight (at left)

 

Love this. Thinking about it. xxx

In black and white.

I just found out that I'm going to have a piece in a show in Springfield Illinois. This show looks incredibly cool. It's all black and white work, and each work of art is paired with original writing, inspired by the artwork. Here's the piece I'll be showing: Seance, 9" x 12", ink and pastel on paper, 2018. I can't wait to see the written accompaniment.

Joy_Ray_Seance.JPG

 

 

 

Back from LA

PS check out all these places. You won't be sorry!

Photos from Hawi.

The other day, I got to spend some time taking photos with the very talented and patient Anna Pacheco. I've been thinking about lighting and how important it is. For instance, here is the same piece with dramatic vs flat lighting:

IMG_3366 - Copy.JPG
small2.JPG

My goal was to get decent photos of a piece that will be in the Art of Labor exhibition at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles starting in July. Here's some of what we got...loving this direction!

Ray-Joy_Portal-3_Fiber_2018_18x18x1-5_A.jpg
Ray-Joy_Portal-3_Fiber_2018_18x18x1-5_B - Copy.jpg

xx