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JP Delaney
About this artwork
Oil on jute on metal wire structure
h.115cm w.120cm d.70cm
Sep 2002

JP's Description: Designed and built as a tall standing sculpture. Instead it crumpled and collapsed on itself (I know the feeling). Undaunted by such incidents, I stood it up on it's side in such a way as it would support itself and carried on from there.

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Copyright ©2003-2019 and participating artists
2009-02-06 03:21

It’s a difficult task to write down what I want to say. It would be much easier if it was in behalf of my own work but it is in behalf of your’s. Or at least your work has triggered these thoughts or your beer-box thing to be more precisely. It’s a whole bunch of problems that came to my mind when I read your studio-log. By the way, I like that once you shortened „studio-log“ into „slog“ which indeed is a precise description of what I have in mind when deciding to comment on all these things: Very hard work!
It has to deal with different aspects of our work as there are the difficult „abstract“ definition, the contradiction between sculpture and two dimensional painting, the question if objects like your sculptures are just an object or say a diary of a story. In your case a story of desperation in the first place, and many others that come and go the longer I think of it. And not to forget: Everything that comes to my mind has to be expressed in English so that everyone ... or at least the majority ... can follow. And that indeed is one of the most difficult parts. So I beg your pardon in advance if some of what I try to say will be incomprehensible. In one part it will be caused by my very small brain and in the other part by my inability to say things that make sense in this foreign language.

One thing that once caught my interest in a special way was your studio-log entry called „Notice to quit“. On one hand it was about an object you were going to build and on the other hand it was about the story that triggered or initiated this object. And, I beg your pardon, this was the by far more interesting part.
I really have the impression that in the first place your work is not about forms or colours, sculptures or paintings but about desperation that comes from being an artist. So as it shows all your objects can be seen as a kind of diary talking about the different aspects and states of this desperation and, as a significant proof that it is about desperation your ordeal of never coming to an end (as described for example in your „Controtendenza“ entry. So or so you actually come to an end with your sculptures at least for the observer that finally sees it but not with the desperation that is embedded in your life as an artist. So for me the first conclusion would be: How can the narrative of this desperation be shown in your works more comprehensible and clear without having to add a seperate booklet to each of them.

As a sculptor myself I always questioned your habit to use your objects to paint paintings on them ... paintings not just patterns ... and this way making the sculpture unclear as well as the painting. So the two aspects or compartments of your work, sculpture and painting, seem to work against each other instead of supporting. This, so my feeling, leads to the frustration that in the end you have neither a sculpture nor a painting.

Well, somehow I have the feeling that this discussion might be what you had in mind with your suggestion of an interactive forum. What we have now is a forum section where we can talk to each other in just words without having the opportunity to add a picture to make things more comprehensible. In addition we have the studio-log section where we can upload pictures and our own comments but your discussion partner or partners cannot. In need would be a combination. So for example I could illustrate this text and you could answer in the very same medium as could all the others that want to join the discussion.

Okay, so far for now.

2009-02-06 06:40

Hanjo... hold on for a bit please. I'm working on that new section you've mentioned. Hillel has already given me some ideas very similar to yours, and has suggested we call it an artists workshop. It will basically be an evolution of the SLOG (as you've also mentioned) where anyone can add images, text, etc.
The point will be to see if it is possible to deconstruct, then propose an alternative to, or evolution of, an artist's approach to the work - very much like how you've begun to do here.
Let me first get the bare bones of the Artists' Workshop up, then we can continue with the objective.
In response to what you've said so far - your insight is correct, and I'm looking forward to see how AP artists can help me carry forward the pile of junk I leave behind in the studio each day.
As you've both indicated, a new location to centralize our efforts is required in order to make a presentable project to the observer. I thank you for the concentration and "slog" you've put into this so far. If you don't mind, I need you now instead to put pressure on me to produce the workshop, as I'm getting far too lazy. I should work harder if I've got you guys on my back demanding results :o)

2009-02-07 20:44

This is a very late answer to your call for help on the studio log on September 23rd, triggered by what Hanjo has been saying here about the painting on the sculpture etc.

I took a closer look of your beer boxes again among other older paintings of yours and then looked back at this sculpture. Maybe it’s me, but anyway what I see in the beer box paintings is the actual shape and two dimensionality of the flattened box being canceled by an illusionistic drawing, which takes me into a multilayer space, which somehow moves outwards rather than inwards the surface of the painting, as it is traditionally done with perspective and such and as you used to do back in the 80’s. On the contrary, in three dimensional painted pieces like this, I feel as if the actual volume is sort of moving towards the centre of itself, as the ever present multilayer painted space opens another dimension that invites me to the inside, like a black hole, canceling the surface of the sculpture and its sense of being a mass occupying space in the room I stand, contrary to what is traditionally done in sculpture.
Now, maybe you are after something really important and pioneering here. Maybe this is all Greek (!) to you and I am completely off track. But I must say that it is true I do not recall you talking about what it is that you want with these works. I would love to hear you telling us a bit more about how and why you ended up playing Escher with more dimensions than he does (that is, if I got any close to it), instead of going around in circles about “going down”, or up, or in or out (sorry, I got fixed with this idea). Then we can talk about whether “you are embarking on a same as last time” or whether this is good or bad.

By the way, I don’t mind “respectability” in a work’s presentation; I do mind that wooden frame that has me landing on two dimensions again. Try another form of clean, respectable, or better, authoritative presentation that would give the work its right dimension. Throwing up is irrelevant for the moment, I think.

2009-02-08 11:58

Well, I’m afraid you are absolutely right Maria and something like this being sucked into his sculptures must have happened to our poor fellow artist. By the way, since when are you working in the horror department? I already see the news with headlines like „Killer Sculptures Swallow the Artworld“. This will finally make John-Paul famous ... inside the black hole unfortunately. But who knows, perhaps inside there it might be a much better place for all of us.

2009-02-08 14:15

Maria... I'd love to merit your lofty (and very interesting) interpretation. In this case I think the photo is better than the work. Simply put, it's just as I said in the comment, a sculpture that collapsed on itself.
It was around this time that I had started painting the sculptures as I found out they were being thrown out in the rubbish. I figured if I dabbled some form and colour on the surface, a person might stop and think twice before consigning it to the bin. That makes me think I'm, in reality, in the business of dreaming up ways to prevent the things I make getting sent to the garbage heap. That's pretty humbling when I think about it. So much for my idea of art.
Happily Hanjo has a bit of humour to splash on some flavour - though your're not going to find me going down any black hole just yet.

2009-02-09 19:36

Oh, no, my dear Hanjo, you got me wrong. I meant it as something good and rather difficult to accomplish. Not something that turns you into a poor artist.

J.P. if you say that the reason you started painting the sculptures was to make people think twice before they throw them away, it means you do want your work to be respectable. Who doesn’t? Now, I have a question; who has thrown your stuff to the bin? Has anyone (except family members; they don’t count) really done it, or is it you not being satisfied? And the most important question; if so, why? I see several elements in your work even if, as you say, what I see has nothing to do with your intentions. The question is, what are your intentions? Why don’t you give it a try to describe it?
And I don’t want any of you out there starting on me with “it cannot be put in words” and all that. I know all about it. But I know that you can get close to giving at least some idea.
All right, you can start by telling us which works or what part of them satisfies you.
And I demand results :o)


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