Maria Neil Art Project – A project by John Farina and Adam Tully celebrates their 10th Anniversary with a show that opened last night. They have been a special presence in the Cleveland art community over the years with their collecting and patronage of the areas artists and with MNAP bringing their love of the arts to the public. They asked the artists who exhibited in their exhibitions to submit a small work. My work is in great company with the wonderful other artists work.
I was honored when they asked me to have a solo exhibition in 2015. My show with them titled BITS IN PIECES included among the 20 plus digital prints something new for me, 3d printed sculptures titled MODEL CITIZENS. As part of their mission, they encourage artists to flex their muscles and bring something special hence the word “Project” in the name. The challenge led me to producing my first 3d work since my architecture career ended in 2004. I am again working in 3d on a 3d printed piece for the upcoming show “W/O Limits” at the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve.
For the 10th Anniversary show, I created this small work, CIRCULUX REDUX, uv cured inkjet on cnc cut acrylic, 15″ x 13.8″. A child of the 60s, the analog days, I played 45 rpm records. Arranged at the corner points of a hexagon, the central elements are a nod to those plastic adapters you put on the spindle to play 45 rpms.
MariaNeilArtProject.com 15517 Waterloo Rd, Cleveland, OH 44110 Opening Reception: Friday, June 3rd 5:00-8:00p.m.On view through July 2022. Hours by appointment only. Please send an email to schedule an appointment. [email protected]
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These multi-layered cnc cut artworks are an exploration of geometric abstraction utilizing symbols, in this piece, the underappreciated Asterisk.
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The hashtag is getting all the fame. But before the hashtag became so celebrated with the advent of instagram, the asterisk has been used throughout the ages. The iconography of the Asterisk is deeply embedded in the human psyche. The symbol of the asterisk, ubiquitous today, used in computer language and mathematics has ancient roots going back to pre-history in cave paintings by ice age humans.
Paleoanthropologist Genevieve Von Petzinger studies the origins of graphic communications of early humans and as her list of symbols found in early human cave paintings shows, what we know today as the asterisk and the pound/number/hash symbol are from our beginnings. She says in her TED Talk Why are these 32 symbols found in ancient caves all over Europe?
Early writing systems didn’t come out of a vacuum. And that even 5,000 years ago, people were already building on something much older, with its origins stretching back tens of thousands of years, to geometric signs of Ice Age Europe and beyond, to that point deep in our collective history, when someone first came up with the idea of making a graphic mark, and forever changed the nature of how we communicate.
From there it has gone on throughout history to be used in many ways; literature, mathematics and today in the languages of computer code. And lets not forget it’s use in todays language to tone down expletives.
The digital age has encoded the asterisk symbol into the system known as the Unicode Standard. The Unicode Standard is a character coding system designed to support the worldwide interchange, processing, and display of the written texts of the diverse languages and technical disciplines of the modern world. The Unicode Standard designates all symbols, giving them coding data that can be uniformly used in technology internationally. As a starting point in my exploration of the asterisk as subject matter, I went to the Unicode Standard website and found multiple versions of asterisks with different sizes and thicknesses of lines. The symbol I used in these artworks is the Unicode Standard U+1F7BA, the designation given to the symbol named “Extremely Heavy Six Spoked Asterisk”. U+1F7BA is distinguished from other asterisks in the Unicode Standard by the thickness of its spokes versus more delicate asterisks in the code. Transforming this symbol from something of use in computer code, language, telecommunications and mathematics into the realm of geometric object is an expression of technology transformed to an aesthetic that speaks to our technological times.
I’m pleased that my application “The Shape of Things to Come” to the Ohio Arts Council for the Artists With Disabilities Access Program (ADAP) grant has been approved for funding. The Ohio Arts Council does amazing work for artists and the arts in the state of Ohio and I greatly appreciate their support. This is the first work I will be producing with the grant.
Below is an excerpt from my OAC ADAP Grant application:
“With this grant, I will create 4 artworks, printed on rigid substrates as opposed to media of the traditional digital print (paper/canvas). Printing on rigid substrates opens up a new avenue of exploration in my work by allowing my geometric constructs to expand beyond the confines of square and rectangular formats with use of a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Router that can cut the substrate panel to my specifications”.
This work, titled “Thirteen Octoquads”, is the first piece I’m making with the grant funding.
I’ve been working with a variety of geometric shapes, weaved with color. Putting them together in new and unexpected ways challenges me, always with the goal of the composition to elicit a visually energetic and joyful optical experience from the viewer.
I realized that I hadn’t ever worked with Octagons. Why not, I asked myself. So, while I was resting, I imagined turning the octagon into a flower with eight squares being its petals, each projecting from it’s respective segment of the octagon. The resulting arrangement, with triangular spaces left between each adjacent square, provides a link to connect them together. The space left in the middle of 4 linked octoquads provides for smaller flowers with a radiating arrangement of 8 white diamonds. 4 of these flowers surround the central pink octoquad (see detail above).
The image above is the digital file and not the final piece. I will send the file that I’m readying to printer for fabrication.