Giant Hands in East Village is a week-long site specific installation created over three nights and one day on site at 172 E 4th street by the generous invitation of Chashama - Chashama.org
Giant Hands in East Village statement
The hands are towering structures traveling through space and time. The hands are the pillars of creation.
The back of every chair every pillow every brick every piece of twisted metal, every twist in a cypress, every hand of god on a roof, every red balloon and every little girl attached to it by a string, every pyramid and colossus has been made by the hand. Every city every spire every fence every wall, every gesture of kindness and generosity.
Due to the ephemeral nature of the hands, they gesture and move on. Some of them move if you wave at them gently. Site specific installation created in the space.
In creating shapes and objects I'm looking for truth, an easy state. I love the East village in the sense that it feels true New York City, with all its grittiness and authenticity. I created this installation in the span of three nights and one day and will only stay up over one week as a site-specific object true to the place. I like the pressure of working fast and keeping doubt to a minimum, I like the pressure of the ephemeral. It will never be the same again.
I loved working in the East village this is quintessential New York City, I loved the space I wanted the hands to gesture inside and to rest on surfaces. I also loved all the graffiti and the marks on the windows which overlapped the work inside. In a way I found the graffiti to be more authentic art and a good truth to aspire to. Because truth is what I am after.
Graffiti are good truth to aspire to. I thought the graffiti and city lights reflecting, overlapping the hands pretty special. This space taught me a lot.
As an artist I live a solitary life, I do investigations and create work in private. There is never finished work and there's never a definitive answer.
Working in the East Village was very special. I got in touch with a community I've never had an opportunity to work in before. Artists from the community came to my exhibit and we had hours and hours of conversations about our work and lives, conversations between artists and also between artists and the community are very important. This is the lifeblood of the creative process.
I derive a lot of inspiration from New York City and every encounter in New York City is significant to me, I really value honesty and truth in the work I create, working on the ground at 172 e 4th street felt like being part of a life process rather than a formal and confined studio experience.
This enabled me to do an investigation into the East Village, the people as well as a ground floor windowed space which invited the street outside. For me removing doubt from work is necessary and having to work under pressure takes care of doubt. Working with a deadline towards a definitive goal is very positive as it sets out a pace for the investigation, because my process is an investigation and usually fast pace keeps it true to the self.
Art is at the center of our inner lives, it is ephemeral and not with immediate material benefit. To have sustainable art practice we need sustained effort to support the workers in the “non-material” economy like artists and poets, writers and others. I am grateful to Chashama for inviting me to work in the space.
Giant Hands on Broadway and Bleecker. Site-specific installation on Broadway and Bleecker, created over the course of one day.
The city I love is full of empty storefronts and permanent scaffolding, I’m calling this the Manhattan Scaffolding and Storefront Improvement project.
Giant Hands site-specific installations consist of giant hands made out of lined bond paper and primed cotton canvas painted with acrylic paint. In the past year I've created numerous site-specific installations using Giant Hands. I design the installation to have very little turnaround time and also the paper and canvas hands are designed so they could be deployed in the morning and collected in the evening, creating a day-long site-specific piece if necessary. The hands could remain within the space if desired for 2-6 weeks. The installation consists of hands hanging from the ceiling, being attached to walls in a non-destructive manner or simply being draped over object or walls, to create what I call a gestural mound.
Giant Hands Statement
This series of installations arose from the realization that during simple and mundane daily activity, like holding onto the rails in the subway, the hands draw extraordinary three-dimensional shapes. As they move through space they create flowing, complex structures of hand trails - this body of work explores these ephemeral constructs.
I first create a small hand gesture sketch which I refine into a line drawing. I enlarge the line drawing and then transfer it to either paper or canvas. I then paint the enlarged hands using non-toxic acrylic paint. I then wire the paper or canvas hands using wooden dowels and fishing line. The hands are made to be very easily deployed as initially I designed the system to hang the installation in the morning and fold in the evening. The spaces I targeted in previous projects were scaffoldings in front of unoccupied store fronts in New York City, as well as natural and artificial formations in Central Park.
When hung loosely, the hands travel in a series of gestures, follow a think line and coalesce into three-dimensional structures. My own hands serve as the models and main building element of my work because they are always present and available, constantly traversing and dominating my personal space.
Installation I created at the end of October, I also call it the Manhattan scaffolding and empty storefronts improvement project.
Giant Hands in West Harlem. Site-specific installation on Broadway in West Harlem.
Hands Dry Waterfall in Central Park, site-specific installation, 2018
The first of three site-specific installations in Central Park, created spontaneously over the course of one day.
A part of the Giant Hands in Manhattan series of installations.
Hands over the Waterfall in Central Park, site-specific installation, 2018
The third of three site-specific installations in Central Park, created spontaneously over the course of one day.
The second in the series of Giant Hands in Manhattan installations
Month-long, site-specific installation in Beacon, NY, created illegally inside Dennings Point Ruins. Due to the fact that it was created in a State Park - I had to setup from scratch every morning and fold everything every evening, leaving no trace. Hence its ephemeral, and inherently mobile and shifting nature. I apologize to the state of New York for not applying for the permit they would have never given me anyway. That's why I didn't ask. ..................
While hiking in the area I found the most beautiful space - abandoned brick factory which has been taken over by nature.
While passing by I only saw a brick wall, partially collapsed and had no idea the area just around the corner held this amazing environment.
I walked by, the place called me and I answered. It's my magical forest sans the mushrooms. I was in love and spent much time here.
They call the place Dennings Point ruins, I found them much improved though, and much more beautiful. imagine the sheer mundanity of a brick factory building with all the brick making stuff in it. Now it has been beautifully rearranged by nature and you have the most lively soundscape too.
It was made so much more beautiful. …
Art is about a punch to the stomach. I figured what the difference is between art and art, art gives you a punch so when the art is absent and the artist is absent you still hold the image in your head. You say ah!
If there’s no ah it is just making stuff, or being creative which is of course absolutely valid too it just isn’t all that interesting.
I loved being in this place, in the company of bushes, crickets, birds, wind, greenery, ruins, graffiti, and random humans.
To create a brand new visual experience, and fleeting.
I loved the sounds of the space as well, it's like nature was pushing its way into the building but couldn't take over and get all in.
Plus I had the local bullies come in and complain about the yuppies coming to their town, and to be honest I was scared but not terrified but my friend freaked out so i had to start folding. I will make sure to come alone next time because I do not care to "burn with my art" - this was the only time I have been threatened to be burned with something I created so I feel it was quite special.
And then the cops showed up, they were really nice.