Hey all, I am so sorry for the very extended break. As you may know I am facing some tough health challenges. But I am recommitting to be back on track with at least one post a month. Thanks for you patience.
Have you ever worked in a series? Have you ever staged a show that added to that series and gave many layers of story and depth to the work? My good friend Shane Izykowski has done just that very thing with his latest solo show ‘Midnight In The Garden of Goodbye.’
Shane is a fantastic painter, make up artist, production designer, and host of the ‘Drawing From Experience’ podcast, which is available however you stream podcasts or on the show’s website. Currently his show is on exhibit here in San Francisco at Secession Art and Design. And it is a masterclass in not only painting skill but also in building depth, story, and interaction into the work.
Shane had been kicking around an idea of people letting go of their regrets and was struck by images of a night time garden where people could do just that. After all to find peace, we all need to let go of some things. This idea conjured up several images in his art brain and as a superb storyteller he has created a three act story with a dark and brilliant cast of characters…each one moving you towards liberation.
To create more depth, Shane placed a podium in the gallery with a lovely old typewriter, and asked people to share their regrets. Near the end of the show Shane will be Burning these regrets live on Facebook. Some of the things people wrote are a little funny and comical…but several of them are real burdens. It’s a very exciting idea that will force each participant to connect to the show as well as be excited to see what Shane comes up with next. They will indeed follow more of his story.
This is how Shane seems to work out shows. Working out a concept, visualizing ideas, creating work in a series, staging a show that entices people and draws them in. And it is incredibly successful.
Here are a few reasons I like working this way. One – The story dictates the direction of the work. If you’re gonna paint all the Greek gods….you’re not gonna sit there and think of what to paint next. You know you gotta do Zues and Herra, etc. So it can help with making some of the imagination stuff happen quicker. Two – By adding something to your show that deepens the story and experience you are showing people things that they may not see the first time around. Each time they see the show they may realize new things. Some of my favorite albums were made 20 years ago and I still find new things. That is artistic genius. And Shane is definitely there.
Now I’m not saying you have to go create a whole experience for each show you have. You don’t even have to work in a series. Shane has been working like this for some time and has a lot of experience. If he didn’t, this might seem gimmicky. But that is certainly not the case. I am saying to give it some thought and see if something like that would make its way into your work.
I am also sayin that you need to go see this show.
The show ends Saturday June 1st.
Also….I was one of the models for he show….so ya know. Say hi.