Felix Gonzalez-Torres and New Artwork in the Making

A classmate of mine from high school in North Carolina and I ran into each other in the Mission District of San Francisco a decade + after graduation and we chatted for a while. She remembered me giving her earrings many moons ago. I loved and still love making art works for people. For decades I have beaded together earrings or necklaces for others. Generous is what I've been told, almost to a fault at times, but I love sharing. I ask for nothing in return.

Over the years my techniques have become more sophisticated and my projects have moved from beading to fabrication and metal work. I thought I would become a master metalsmith and I still could. Funny how the world redirects you. I discovered that I was working in jewelry only to move into sculpture which frees me from working so very small. I Love Sculpting. Period.

So, after New Years this year I had seen posting on Facebook where friends of mine where creating a craft chain. If you posted to their wall, they would craft something for you and then you had to post it on your wall and make works for your friends. Inspired by this, I decided to make a small line of wearable art that is inspired by the favorite things of ten friends. That number quickly grew as folks wanted to participate. The stipulation was to pay it forward, in any way one wants. Overhear someone who had a bad day in the coffee line, but them a coffee. Have a friend who could really use an outing, take them to a movie. You get the drift. Pay it forward in kindness in the new year.

I have already begun the process of making and I am loving it! It allows me to get to know my friends better and creates a time based operation. All pieces have to ship out in January.

Then it hit me!

Isn't this in a way what Felix Gonzalez-Torres does in many of his works? He breaks down the 3rd wall and reels you in.

Gonzalez-Torres Portrait of Ross

He creates work that begs you to take it with you. The viewer activates the work. We see this again and again. Sharing, performance, collaboration, it's all there!

And then he goes and does this!!!

Gonzalez-Torres "Untitled" (Golden)

One of my favorite works in existence! This is in the SFMoMA's collection and requires the viewer to walk through it.

So what does Gonzalez-Torres have to do with the project I am currently working on?

He has inspired me to push myself to add elements of exchange into my work. This current project is one that is evolving into something so much bigger. My work may change in such a dramatic way because of this.

Exchange, kindness, meeting eye to eye and sharing. These will be key points in the coming works.