I Kill You!!

Want to know about what I’m doing in Grad school? Delete this site from your bookmark (yeah right, like you’ve bookmarked me) and replace it with this one http://samguerrero.tumblr.com/

This Blog is officially DEAD.

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Visual Instructions inspire me to draw more

I love the imagery that is in Aircraft Safety Information pamphlets.

I’ve been working on my own. These are the beginnings that will eventually be a “Acceptable Physical Contact when Congratulating Another Man”

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What the… Another Quarter Review!

Below is the script for my 2nd Quarter Review. If you desire to do so take a look at it and let me know what you think. I have to give it on Monday  Feb 28th so its coming up pretty quick. Thanks

p.s. the actual PDF of slides is attached at the bottom of this post. Be advised its a big one.

Quarter 2 Review Script

Slide 1: Title

Slide 2:

This work is a result of my curiosities during last quarter. The work had a lot of conflict that I was unwilling to resolve and decided that what needed to be done was an abandoning of this form and search for a new one that would better serve my interests.

Slide 3:

Male Identity still serves as a basis for much of my work and I have continued to think about what influences the male idea of self and the roles a he assumes in response.

I’ve also been thinking about my own conflictions with my cultural identity and not feeling connected to my ethnic group.

I’ve had a lot of conflict with the relation between making and the potential pleasure that can come from it. I’ve tried to get back to the playfulness that used to inhabit much of my processes.

Because of my desire to enjoy the act of making and a challenge issued by Jason I have begun to move from a painting and drawing focus to a sculptural one

Slide 4:

I’ve developed a fascination with rite of passage ceremonies. Specify ones that involve a physicality that is dangerous and often results in the cutting or wounding of the participants. Often such wounds purposefully are made to leave scars that serve as trophies or reminders of the young males movement from seeing self as boy to seeing self as man.

Slide 5:

Piñatas have also been an interest this quarter. Specifically seeing Piñata as an ordinate container and the violent celebration ritual it is part of. The Piñata also has a lot of history that is attached to the Catholic Church. The symbolism is packed and often contradictory.  The piñata structure is meant to inhabit both good and evil. The shape of the star it is meant symbolize the star of Bethlehem, and the seven points reference the seven deadly sins.  Some Piñatas have 10 points that represent the 10 commandments and the act of breaking the piñata symbolizes the breaking of the 10 commandments. Its hung high so we look up as we look up to heaven to God. Breaking the piñata also represents the fighting against sin and the candy that falls from the piñata represents the blessings from heaven we receive for doing so.

Slide 6

I have a history of making Piñatas for Tender Loving Empire celebrations and for Dan Attoe’s class I made a cardboard installation that employed many of the techniques I used for making my piñatas. Jason challenged me to consider taking this practice and apply it to my studio work.

Slide 7 thru 11:

I started drawing ways of merging the concept of rite of passage rituals with the tradition of the piñata.

The figure is constructed much like a piñata by using cardboard.  The figure becomes one of beauty and very fragile. A participant of the potentially physically harmful act and mirrors the position of the boys who participate in the rite of passage rituals. The goal is to find favor with the father, the elders, God. Through the act they cross from one identity to another. The figure has its identity legitimized and validated through the physical breaking of its body.

Visually I relied on the history of piñata to guide me with its roots coming from Asia, Spain, South America, and Christian Religion.

I had the idea to replace the head with literal piñata forms and inspired my application for work to go in PSU La Casa Latina.

Slide 12 thru 17

Before I had started work on the La Casa Latina project I had started creating a prototype model. I started with the head using the geometric nature of the material to influence the formation of features and structure of the head.

I later moved on to the body moving to upholster tack cardboard that proved to be more malleable.

I knew that the face and hands would be exposed and needed the most attention.

Slide 18

I’ve also been thinking about the clothing of the figure and have played with the idea of using traditional materials like feathers and paper to approach clothing.

Slide 19 thru 22

But I’ve also strongly considered using actual clothing on the figure. Note: I made the figure to fit in Medium size clothing… I obviously do not wear a medium and in the photos the figure is wearing my clothes.

Slide 23:

I would like for you to consider several things in your comments:




PDF of Presentation slides:


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The Drawings of Heinrich Kley

Will let me borrow a book of Heinrich Kley’s pen drawings that I think are amazing. The looseness of the lines are so expressive and full of movement. I also love the playful darkness in its subject matter.

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Coppola : Nice example of Bad Press via Social Networks

I was on Facebook tonight and a friend of mine posted a link to an article that seemed to have  hit a nerve for him. The article was about something Francis Ford Coppola had said when speaking with some film students about the state of art (specifically film) and  how artist should find some other way of making money other than their work. I read what he posted and felt that there was something off about the article. It was too short and his argument seemed incomplete and very much lacking.

Of course the portion my friend had posted was met by cyber space with people ignorantly agreeing with his perceived views and other who chastised him for the same.  I did some digging and found the same or smaller portions of the post being reposted with similar comments by internet users.  Easily I found a more comprehensive account of the event in question (there was a link in the title of the original post).  Needless to say if you read what came before the comments that sparked such an uproar you would read about his frustration with the film world and how those who control the money are not interested in taking risk but more so what will yield a higher return. In his opinion risk is necessary for good art to happen. If those who fund artist are not willing to risk than artist simply need to find new means.

He of course has this luxury having a very lucrative wine business that funds the work he does now and having had success in his thirties has given him the credibility that up and coming film makers will not necessarily have. I understand how artist could be upset by his comments for this reason. It’s easy to make such claims when you are on the other end of the struggle and have already  created for yourself a flow of equity to fund your passion. When you have bills, hunger, and a passion that needs to also be fed, but no cash flow it becomes easier to “sell out”  or sell yourself short. On the other hand I agree with him that we need to find a way to pay for life and art while we are trying to find our voice and our cash cow.  What I believe is that whatever we do  we should never settle. Working a job that kills our spirits may provide monetary survival but does nothing for our creative growth. Find something that provides both creative stimulation and financial stimulation.

Check out the original post I got on Facebook  here then the original text here

I’m curious to hear other people’s thoughts.

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Top 10 assignment

I’m currently taking a class on Artists as Writers with Pat Boas as apart of MFA program. This last week we were given an assignment based on the Top 10  feature found in Art Forum . The feature that is a part of every issue invites a different artist to list their top 10. The contents vary from artist to artist. Often it is composed of other artist or art institutions that are interesting to the author, but there are also favorite places, films, and objects that are effecting the artist and ultimately informs their work.

This was a much harder task than I anticipated it to be. As I started compiling a list I found myself thinking about what these items say about me. I like to think of myself as someone who is not concerned with the perceptions of others, but that is much more idealistic than realistic. I am compiling this list as instructed in a class that is apart of an institution and such ideas are prone to higher levels of scrutiny then most.  Now a new question is pressing on me. Do I write on items that will be much more accepted within the institution I’m writing for or do I write exactly what I’m into and looking at and run the risk of judgement? Failure to do so would then be deceiving and as a result would inhibit any chance of growth or any  possible affirmation I could gain.

Then I thought ” Am I thinking too much? ” Probably. I decided to move forward and compile the list the best and truest I could. Still not easy.  I started to find myself writing down more than the ten I was required and started to prioritize and breaking down the reasoning as to why they deserved to be on the list.  Then I ended up with less than ten. By now you are probably think as I was at this point ” Dude, just write the list already.”  Ultimately it really made me think about why I allow some things to influence me and why I keep other things out. I still don’t know why, and to be honest I’m a little embarrassed by the ten.  What I am beginning to understand is the true potency of my upbringing and much of the psychology  that ruled me as a boy still plays a pat in my current psychology. Maybe Judd Apatow will make a movie based on my own Man-child story.

Here are the Ten for your consideration:


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Quarter Review Presentation

The following is the notes for my Quarter Review Presentation. If you do not wish to read through please skip to the bottom where you will find a link to the presentation as well as questions I have for those interested in giving feedback.

Quarter Review 1:  Notes

Title Card/ Slide One:


Slide Two: Informed Work 2009-2010

  • Group Critique informed me greatly on some of the failings in my approach
  • Also informed of the potentials of my direction
  • Consulted collaborator/friend on possible direction and decided “masculinity” was the wrong term for the approach
  • Didn’t want to sacrifice the portrait and the use of objects

Slide Three: Commissioned Work

  • Work was commissioned by my Father as a gift for my mother
  1. 1. Was not excited about doing the work
  2. 2. Group Critique seemed to be drawn more so to this work then other work presented
  3. 3. Decision was made to change approach and focus on the role of “Identity” and paint in a similar fashion as these. Because:
  • The work is about identity & these two men affected my perceptions of “masculinity”
  • The idea of subject (Model) directing the work has always been my goal

Slide Four: Interviews

  • Series approach uses interviews with subjects to develop the “Identity” narrative.
  • Two things are essential to the interview:
  1. How the subject would like to be painted (Poses/Props)
  2. What object(s) were apart of their past to current identity whether apart of a collection or a singular object

Slide Five: www. Public collections .org

  • Given the site by Jen
  • Love going through it
  • Testament to the eclectic degrees by which we collect
  • Secretly hope to fall upon a person with such structured and unusual collections
  • Why focus on “objects” as a vehicle to understanding identity?
  1. 1. Freud postulated that collecting ties back to the time of toilet training. Freud suggested that the loss of control and what went down the toilet was a traumatic occurrence and that, therefore, the collector is trying to gain back not only control but “possessions” that were lost so many years ago.
  2. 2. I like to believe it goes deeper then that. In an article published by the San Francisco Chronicles in 2003 written by Steve Winn he writes: For Gerard Koskovich, 45, a disciplined San Francisco editor who collects gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex nonfiction dating from the 17th century through 1970, collecting organizes his life. He writes and lectures on his material, structures his European travels around visits to dealers and fellow collectors and views his own identity through the history he’s assembled.

“It was very important for me in coming out as a gay man,” he explains. “I didn’t want to feel I’d arrived on this planet with no forebears.”

It is this psychology that is attached to objects that interests me.

Slide Six:  Curiosity Cabinets

  • Originally thought about obtaining the physical objects that were brought up in the interview and place them in a box (Insect Cataloguing)
  • Brendan introduced me to the concept of the curiosity cabinets.
  • Based on a 17th century practice in which practitioners collected and cataloged objects that later became the model for the modern museum and was a practice adopted by “Commoners”
  • Seemed like a perfect vehicle to use when approaching organization and the act of collecting

Slide Seven: Mark Dion

  • Has taken the curiosity cabinet, excavation, and museum practices and applied it to the “Ready Made” approach to art making.
  • Really has been one to look to as I myself attempt to take on the collections of my subjects for my own work

Slide Eight: Forging Objects

  • Not all objects that have come up in interviews are easy to attain by means of rarity or expense
  • As technology is so integrated into culture such items like the IPhone have naturally come up
  • I’ve been looking into ways of possibly forging those objects
  1. 1. EBay: Buying non functional IPhones and wiring them to at least light up
  2. 2. Making “Forgery” versions out of other materials
  3. 3. Obtaining functional display models (don’t do anything but light up)

Slide Nine: Conrad Bakker & Peter Liversidge

  • Kate introduced me to Bakker
  • Painterly creates version of objects solely out of wood.
  • Liversideg does it with paper and cardboard

Side Ten:  Curiosity Cabinets

  • Interested in modern/ minimal cabinets
  • Considering the idea of having a carpenter build them for me

Slide Eleven:  Curiosity Cabinets

  • First piece in the series is intended to be a response or addition to the work commissioned by my Father
  • Don’t want the presence of the cabinet to be distracting and the focus to remain on the portrait
  • Work intended to be a simultaneous Physical and Physiological snapshot of the subject

Slide Twelve:  Curiosity Cabinets

  • Upon opening the cabinet you become privilege to the collection of the subject depicted on the door. Thus giving you insight to the subjects sense of identity.

Slide Thirteen: Gracias


Questions for consideration:

1) What are your thoughts on this approach to portraiture? Those who were apart of the initial critique… what are your thoughts on my response?

2) Are there artist, organizations, literature, and so on you are aware of that might help inform my work?

3) Any resources I might tap into when it comes to “Forging” any objects?

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