My Art

These writings are outlines and descriptions of my art. Why I do what I do, and how I go about doing it.

Being an MFA candidate does not mean that you are simply a student.

As artist we are always learning something. Whether it is new ways to do something, new materials to use, or new ways to promote and market our work, we are always on a journey to find something new in our art. This has been part of being an artist for as long as we have had fine art.

There was a time in art, when emerging and established artists were not just required to improve, but also expected to study beyond just what they have learned before. During the Enlightenment artist like Diego Velazquez would take time to travel to other countries and study new forms of making art. During their journeys while they were studying they were still considered to be well-established or master artists. This tradition of the artists going back to or even continuing their professional study would continue until the 1920’s were we start to see a change in the idea of the MFA or studying of art in a formal setting from being a furthering for artists to simply a institutional program for people to learn art.

In this day of mass media and the internet it is more important for artists to explore new venues to go with their work, new medias and materials to try and even new styles of work to combine with their style or creating work. But for many there is this stigma that going back to school to learn a new skill or to expand your understanding of an idea will reduce you as an artist.

More people are required to expand not just their minds but their ability to understand more, this can come in many forms, but none so strong as continuing their education. For some it is a means to learn a new skill, for others they are trying to advance their carriers as art educators, and yet for others it is simply a means to be able to teach at the university level. But if we continue to put stigmas that further development makes you less, than how can we expect the art world to grow?

As an emerging international artist who has had exhibits in China, Korea, New York, Paris, Zurich, Madrid, and London but is also going back for his MFA to learn a new skill and with hopes of teaching at a university I face these stigmas all the time. When people hear that I am working on an MFA they tend to look past the fact that I have had solo and group shows not just in galleries but also museums around the world, that my works are in permanent collections of galleries, hotels, libraries and universities around Asia and in New York, that I belong to professional artists associations, and have won awards for my art, and that I have been featured in newspapers, magazines and on television in China and New York. To them all of that does not matter because I am going for my MFA.

If a businessman goes back to school to learn a new form of accounting or management he is sharpening his skills. If a doctor goes back to school to learn a new technique or equipment he is being on the cutting edge. But if an artist goes back to school to learn a new technique, equipment or style he is a student? Being that academies of art were some of the first universities in the world, it is sad that we place them on such a low plane in this day and age of advancement.

Why do I do the art I do…

As an artist we hear many of the same questions over and over again. Why do you create the art that you do? Have you ever thought of doing a different kind of art? Do you make your art for sale? What keeps you motivated?

What people who are not artists don’t understand is that for artists it is not something that we can simply answer. Art is not something that is planned, at least not in the sense of the kind of art that we do. For a true artist finds the art inside them, they are inspired by the world around them, and can no more pick the kind of art that drives them than anyone else can choose the color of their skin.

I am always looking to try new ideas, and explore new art, but the kind of art that I do has nothing to do with trying new things but with do I like those new things. Do I feel that they fit into my art, and what I am doing.

As for making my art for sale, I don’t know many artists who don’t want to sell their work, but if we make work for sale and not for the love of it than we are not making art, we are making items to sell.

As for what keeps me motivated, just making art makes me motivated, there is nothing better than spending the day in my studio creating art. Just like a writer must write and a lawyer loves practicing the law, I must do my art.


Deconstructing Life Fish

Since the dawn of man we have found ways to destruct the world around us. The dawn of the enlightenment, the power of the industrial revolution and the advancement in the technical age have consumed the world around us. The desire to keep up with the Jones’s has only grown with the introduction of the POP craze of the 60’s, the self storage units of the 70’s and the introduction of the credit card, that allows us to spend what we yet don’t have.

My work with the fish started during my journey through China. While I traveled through the countryside during my time in China I discovered the art of cloth inking in remote villages of minorities in China. Many of the paintings were that of animals and symbols of the village. When looking to add them to my works, I came to think of the fish that I would see hanging, not just in markets, but also through villages and rural areas of China. As they dried they become almost transparent in the sun showing their bones for the world to see. Such a great symbol for life at its death appealed to me.

The fish are a great symbol of duality in life, as they come from the water and provide substance to us they represent life, but as they are hanging as if on a drying line or fishing line baked in the fire of the suns light they represent death. The process in clay adds other elements to the work, as the clay come from the ground, the fire process, the liquid glaze, and the air drying, all of these elements along with the symbolism of the structure of the bone of the dead fish, perhaps by pollution or just from the simple idea of being killed by man, combine to the idea deconstruction of life…Image

Brother and Sister Fish, High Fire Raku, 12 x 18 in, 2012

Where is the future of art?

No this is not my manifesto, but does contain parts of the ideas of the manifesto to explain what I am talking about….

Our great visionaries have gone away… Our leaders are leading us to stray… We lost our past, and cant find our future. Our teachers are leading us to the edge of nothingness… inviting us to view what is new, but yet already done… our art is designed for us by those that have come before, but have yet to be known to the world… the mass media of today is so great that it is easy to miss what has come before and think of it as new and different. Copy machine artists who cut and paste their ideas in Photoshop fill our galleries, our walls, and our books with nothing new, just merely rearranged thoughts of our past with no vision for the future.

Our history books have been reduced to google searches on web sites built by those who have less understanding of the world of art than they do of the marriage problems of celebrities and rock stars. Their information is gathered by those that cut and paste parts of writings changing their meaning without understanding what they are reading, merely using them because they sound good….

Those that are part of the evolution are on the outside of the mainstream, in the small venues of the art world, making their own success as the galleries, museums, and institutions are afraid to take a chance on change and are not willing to be in the front running for the future of art. It is no longer the galleries and museums tell us what to buy, but the collectors telling the galleries what to show. For this our future is on hold and the visionaries of the art of tomorrow will have to wait..

Don’t tell me what art to make…

I hate it when people tell me what kind of art to make. I do not expect to make art that is to everyones liking, nor do I expect to make art that will always sell, but that is my business. It seems that people think that it is okay to tell me that I am making the wrong kind of art, but it can’t be wrong if it is my art, it can’t be wrong if it is what I love doing. Maybe it is not me who has the problem but those that don’t agree with what I am doing. When I think about it, I say okay, well maybe they just don’t understand what I am doing.. or maybe they are jealous that they could not create something that is all their own.

Currently I make 4 kinds of art, painting, sculptures, paper cutting and now ceramics. Each of these are various works around the same theme. Consistency is important in art, and that is what I am doing. There are those that think I should stay to one kind of art, but that is not me, I do not think that artists should restrict themselves to a  singular form of art, as long as they are consistent in their work.

If you don’t like my art that is fine, but please do not attempt to tell me what I should be doing..

Das letzte Buch / The Last Book (15.5. – 1.7.)

Das letzte Buch / The Last Book (15.5. – 1.7.)

von MJGT — abgelegt in: Ausstellungen und Veranstaltungen — 737 Aufrufe —

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“Lesen erfordert eine gewisse geistige Anstrengung. In dem Maße, in dem direkter Konsum und
sofortige Befriedigung zunehmen, wird diese Anstrengung als lästig und unnötig empfunden. Dies
alles könnte dazu führen, dass Bücher zu geheimen Fetischen reduziert werden“ (Luis Camnitzer). Der Künstler Luis Camnitzer bat im Jahr 2007 zunächst Freunde und Bekannte, eine Seite für „Das Letzte Buch (The Last Book)“ zu schreiben. Dieses Statement sollte ein Vermächtnis für die kommenden Generationen werden, ein Plädoyer für das Kulturgut Buch – für den Fall, dass das Buch aus unserer Kultur verschwinden sollte. Später wurde der Aufruf von Kulturseiten und Blogs im Internet aufgegriffen und damit weltweit verbreitet. Die gesammelten Seiten für „Das Letzte Buch“ dienen nun als Testament unserer Zeit. Seite für Seite können die Beiträge gelesen werden, wobei die spezielle Bindung des Buches das Durchblättern der Seiten zu einem Ritual macht.

Das Projekt provoziert die Frage, ob die auf Büchern basierende Kultur ihrem Ende entgegengeht. Denn nicht nur wegen der neuen Medien, der technischen und gesellschaftlichen Veränderungen, sondern auch wegen der zunehmenden Verschlechterung des Bildungssystems in vielen Teilen der Welt stellt sich die Frage nach dem Verschwinden des Buches.

Luis Camnitzer wurde 1937 in Lübeck geboren. 1939 emigrierten seine Eltern mit ihm nach Uruguay. Seit 1964 lebt er in New York. Als Künstler hat er an vielen internationalen Ausstellungen wie der Dokumenta 11 in Kassel und den Biennalen in Venedig (1988), Havanna (1991), Sao Paulo, Kwangju (1997) und der Whitney Biennale in New York (2000) teilgenommen. In Deutschland stellte er 2010 im Museum Wiesbaden sein Werk „Memorial“ aus.

A photo of my work Tuscan is in this project.

Ausstellungsdauer: 15.5.-1.7.2012
Ort: Foyer der Bibliothek, Eintritt frei.

No more Bikini Lines

Sadly, the Bikini Lines Project has not received enough support. It makes one wonder about the state of art in the world today. Projects like this are important not only for the art in which it produces, but for the human spirit as well. The idea behind the project besides bringing notice to a forgotten place and time in our history, was to also give support to orphans in Japan from the 2011 disaster. It is really depressing that people can not get behind the idea of this kind of project.

Current Exhibit List

Current Exhibits:

  • Grand Opening Exhibit, My Studio Gallery, Port Washington, NY, May-June 2012

Upcoming Exhibits:

  • Howl Festival, Painting in Tompkins Square Park, June 2-3, 2012
  • Art Takes Times Square, Billboard Premier in Times Square on June 18th
  • The Garbage Barge Revisited: Art from Dross, Islip Art Museum, June-August 2012
  • Nautical but Nice, My Studio Gallery, Port Washington, NY, July 2012
  • (Solo Exhibit) And the Paper goes POP, RIPE Gallery, Huntington, NY, Aug 7-31 2012
  • (Solo Exhibit) Words of War, Hillwood Gallery, Brookville, NY, Oct 2012

Art Tour Korea

It was an interesting trip to visit and display art work in Korea. So much has changed since I was there in 1994 as a soldier, but it was also different seeing it as an artist this time. We held 4 exhibitions in universities and gave lectures about our art at 5 universities, while visiting 7 cities, all in 2 weeks. While the visit was short, I did meet some interesting artist and some some great exhibits. Will post photos soon…

Getting ready for the summer

I have a busy summer ahead of me.


Demonstration at the Art League of Long Island


Exhibit at My Studio Gallery, Port Washington

Exhibit at 2012 People’s Choice Salon Show, Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Exchange Exhibit with Ulsan University, Ulsan, South Korea, 14-16 May 2012
Exchange Exhibit with Keimyung University, Daegu, South Korea, 17-19 May 2012
Exchange Exhibit with Honam University, Gwangju, South Korea, 20-22 May 2012
Exchange Exhibit with Sungshin Womens University, Seoul, South Korea, 23-25 May 2012


Teach Paper Cutting at LIU Post

Painting in the Park, Central Park, NY


Exhibit “Works in Paper”, B.J. Spoke Gallery, Huntington, NY

Nautical and Nice, My Studio Gallery, Port Washington, NY


Solo Exhibit RIPE Gallery, Huntington, NY


(Solo Exhibit) Words of War, Hillwood Gallery, Brookville, NY

A couple of other possible exhibits, will post more as I get the information.