Author: daves-studio

I truely believe that "Even ordinary life can be immortilized through art". I have always been awed by the mystery of how people are connected and for most of my life as an artist I have looked for new ways to express what was inside of me, what I was feeling and how I wanted people to view and understand what I wanted to say. This caused me to restrict my art to forms that others could understand. I was speaking to the masses, but I was not using my own voice. Over time I realized that it was not so important weather people truly understood what I was saying but rather that I was speaking so I started to look for the way to think out loud and be heard and have found that voice in papercutting. My work is a mixture of Eastern and Western Art that I started after a visit to China in 2004. while there I discovered the ancient and demanding art of Chinese paper cutting and line drawing. On my return from China I began to make connections between the craft of paper cutting and my years as a soldier. The results of this unusual connection have been beautiful two and three dimentional metaphors of the importance of time and the fragility of life and democracy. Paper cutting itself can be found in many cultures and just like in China those cultures for the most part have thought of it as a decorative or folk art, few artists have explored the idea of using this form of art in a more substantive way. It is part of what has attracted me to papercutting in the first place. While the beauty of paper cutting was appealing, more appealing was the idea of using this fragile material to represent serious and even realistic ideas. The process that I use for my paper structures is the same as found in traditional Chinese paper cutting. What is different is the paper, the way it is displayed and the topics talked about in the art. It is these differences in the works that make them stand out from other forms of paper cutting and structures. Instead of using traditional types of paper for papercutting I have made the cuttings out of aluminum or mirror paper. The paper was chosen for its reflective properties, not just for making the art brighter but for the ability of the viewer to see reflections of themselves in the art, showing a connection between the viewers and the subjects in the work. While most paper cutting are laid flat on the board these works are placed between two pieces of glass in the front of the frame allowing the light to cast shadows on the background, making these papercutting sculptures of art. The other aspect of this work that is different from traditional paper cutting is that each piece is individually designed and not mass produced. This is an important aspect of my work as it is about keeping the appeal of POP art while reducing the images to singular forms. My hope for the future is to continue to explore ways to bridge the techniques and styles of paper cutting and western ideals of art. Not just as a way for me to produce my art but as a way to communicate western ideas in Asia and Asian ideas in the West. For art is the only true international language that all people no matter where they come from can appreciate, and it is through art that we can learn about other cultures beyond mere words.

What if di Vinci had internet?

So I posted this as part of my work. What do you think the art world would be like if artists like di Vinci, Van Gogh, Dali, Rembrandt and Picasso had internet? Would it change their art, how they look at the world, what they created, or even how they created their art?

2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,200 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 7 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Dec 21

Today I got an email from one member of the National Guard requesting another member of the National Guard to get me an appointment for the New Year with their boss. No other information was submitted. They have not told me the reason for this meeting, if it would lead to my benefits, or if I need to bring anything, like a lawyer with me.

I am not sure where this is coming from, any movement can be both good and bad, but unknown reasons for movement worry me.

5 years ago I was told since my claim was well documented it would be easy to process, than after the person left the job, I was told I needed a physical, still waiting after 2 years for a doctors appointment. Last year told it was in the hand of the JAG, but have not heard anything from them. Emails and calls say it will take time, but after 11 years don’t they think I have waited long enough?

Dec 15

Being that it is the weekend, I do not expect to hear anything back from the National Guard or anyone else. I will have to wait until monday to be disappointed.

Dec 13

No calls from anyone today. I am not sure where to go from here. It is getting harder and harder to have hope that something will turn around, that things will work out. I get lots of suggestions from people about things that I have already done, so looking for a new direction is hard for me at this point.


Dec 12

No calls today. Sent out 5 more emails. Don’t expect to hear back. It is so strange that they would pass laws and make arrangements to assist police, firefighters and civilian workers and forget all about the National Guard soldiers. I guess they figured that the military would take care of it, and the NG figured that since it was an attack on America that the federal government or state would provide, by neither side thought to ask about where the coverage for us would come from.

List of people I have written, emailed or called about this…

People are always saying, you should write your Congressman, or call the news papers, believe me I have, so just to make it clear, here is a list of people and organizations I have reached out to.

The New York Army National Guard Line of Duty Office: In the first couple of years they stated that they did not have a program set up for the soldiers injured or who got sick at the World Trade Center. Later when they did they said my case was well known and should not be that difficult to process. Than the man who was heading that up left and all of a sudden, they knew nothing of me and my case they would have to look into it. After about a year of that I called my congressman, and all of a sudden it was an even bigger problem. Now it is we are working on it. When can I expect an answer? We don’t know, because we have a lot of new claims to process. But I have been waiting 11 years! We understand, we have to send you to the doctor, and talk to legal. Okay when will that happen? We don’t know.

The New York National Guard JAG office: two years ago, said I should have been awarded the Purple Heart  or a state medal for my injuries, and should contact me Congressman to help, Congressman Israel and State Senator Own Johnson received a letter from the Personnel Office of the National Guard saying I should not get it, so they dropped it without even looking at the regulations. Have sent them emails since the paper work for my line of duty is suppose to be in their office, have not heard back from them in 2 years.

The National Guard (HQ). Sent a letter and 3 emails. No reply

Congressman Steve Israel. Emails and phone calls. Talked to the National Guard and they said they would rush it. That was 2 years ago, and now that he is in a new area, I have to reach out to my new congressman.

Senator Charles Schumer: Emails and a letter, no reply

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand: Three emails, no reply

President Barrack Obama, three emails and a letter, no reply. Which I dont understand, in the past when I wrote presidents I would at least get a generic letter that they love helping soldiers, and did I see what they are doing for the environment.

ex-Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton, emails, no reply

Hillary Clinton, three emails and a letter, no reply

State Senator Owen Johnson. Three emails, a letter, 12 phone calls, and walking into his office before he replied, now he is leaving office and can care less.

Newsday, New York Times, New York Post, Long Island News, Fios1 Long Island, News 12 Long Island, no reply

Washington Post, said they would ask someone at the National Guard Association for guidance. That was back in August, no reply since.

Phone call with Owen Johnson’s Office

Got a call back today from Owen Johnson’s office.

They said they sent a letter out for me, and they got a response back, so there is really nothing they can do. When I told them that I needed further help, they stated that Mr. Johnson is leaving office in Dec. but if I can get a letter to them they can forward it for me, but that is about it.

First of all, I thought that Mr. Johnson was all about serving the people of Long Island, what does it matter that he is leaving his current position. If he ever wants another job, you don’t stop working because you are leaving. Than again, this is probably why he got voted out in the first place.

Second I sent them a response letter to the one I received, and there was no follow up. “Oh, you mean the one you sent in late August?” yes, that is the one. I sent the response and it would have been nice if you followed up with it. So they are going to fax it today, and see if they get a response and if not, than I will have to wait until the new guy gets in office, as Mr. Johnson is too busy packing his desk to care…

Plasma Paper Cutting Inspired by my time at the World Trade Center