Archive for April, 2009

29
Apr
09

Finished: Red Bird and Vines

    On April 15 I began writing about a piece I was working on, Red Bird and Vines. I went into the studio last night after dinner and finished this piece. In the photos I posted a few days ago the bird did not have any feet, and the vines were not finished. This piece measures 25″x 31″x 1.5″ and consists of deconstructed metal product cans & metal signs on MDF. 

 

Red Bird and Vines by Robert Villamagna

Red Bird and Vines by Robert Villamagna

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28
Apr
09

Back to Rogers, Ohio!

    A sure sign that spring is upon us is the opening of the outdoor flea markets, and one of my favorite flea markets is in Rogers, Ohio. Now it is true that the Rogers Community Sale is open all-year around, but the merchandise and vendors that I am interested in are only outside. This past Friday was my first visit to Rogers this year and the weather was perfect!

Walking into the flea market on Friday morning.

Walking into the flea market on Friday morning.

    The outdoor vendors at the Rogers flea market have that wonder mix of junk and weird stuff. Sure, there are plenty of tools from China, tube socks, sunglasses, glassware, and record albums. However, there is also a box of odd ball tin cans, the name plate from an old washing machine, a couple of baby doll heads, and a pot metal horse figure that was probably a carnival prize. This is the kind of stuff I am looking for to use in my assemblages and metal works.

 

A couple of doll heads await a new home.

A couple of doll heads await a new home.

    In addition to all the “stuff” one sees at the flea market, there is also the variety of dealers that one meets while wheeling and dealing. Over the years, I have found the majority of these vendors to be friendly and fair to deal with. The picture below shows Patty and her flea market pal, Asia, a hefty Boston Terrier. The next photo is a gentleman who I have been seeing at Rogers for more years than I can remember, and yet I realize at this moment I do not know his name. (I must ask him next time!) He always has a few old tools, pen knives, and miscellaneous antiques.

 

Flea market dealer Patty and her friend Asia.

Flea market dealer Patty and her friend Asia.

 

Just sitting back and waiting for the next transaction.

Just sitting back and waiting for the next transaction.

    One cannot live on junk alone, and walking the rows at Rogers flea market can work up an appetite. One of my favorite places to grab lunch is Paisano’s Pizza. Most flea market pizzas are a big disapointment, but Paisano’s is the real deal. It is the best pizza at Rogers or any other flea market for that matter. (My numero uno NON-fleamarket pizza is Pizza Sola in Pittsburgh’s South Side. Yum!) If you visit Rogers, make sure you check out the pies at Paisano’s!

 

Paisano's! The BEST pizza at Rogers, or ANY flea market!

Paisano's! The BEST pizza at Rogers, or ANY flea market!

     It was another fun day at Rogers. A slice of white pizza with banana peppers, lots of sunshine, and some new found materials for making more art. Spring is here!

 

Hundreds of tables of treasures!

Hundreds of tables of treasures!

27
Apr
09

The Bird and Vine Continues

    I did not get back this piece until this past Friday, at which time I did a few hours work. Today, Sunday, I was able to finish laying in the negative space and complete most of the vines. I am finding this piece to be a bit more challenging than I had anticipated. Here are some pics of the last couple days progress.

Laying in vine leaves and background.

Laying in vine leaves and background.

 

Most of the background is in place.

Most of the background is in place.

 

Vines, stems, and background completed. Still lots of work ahead!

Vines, stems, and background completed. Still lots of work ahead!

15
Apr
09

Starting a New Piece

    Today I started work on a new piece. It is going to be done in deconstructed product cans and other printed metal. The basic idea is a bird resting among an interweaving vine. I started with a piece of MDF measuring approximately 24″x28″. I sketched out a rough version of the bird and vines directly on the panel using a Sharpie. The photos below show the first four hours work.

The cut metal leaves on the basic sketch.

The cut metal leaves on the basic sketch.

 

The bird is roughed in.

The bird is roughed in.

 

I begin adding the white pieces that will make up the negative space.

I begin adding the white pieces that will make up the negative space.

 

This is where I must quit for the day.

This is where I must quit for the day.

    I am anxious to continue, but will be unable to continue working on this piece until the weekend. That shape in the upper right corner will be the wing.

10
Apr
09

NYC Day #5: Heading Home

 

    For our last night in Manhattan, we had planned on seeing a series of award-winning comedy shorts at a nearby theatre. Upon our arrival we discovered the shorts were cancelled and replaced with a premiere of a film called “Sophia”. So we spent the  night walking aroung Little Italy and Chinatown, grabbing a strawberry shake at the “Quickly”, and heading to bed.

 

Little Italy at night.

Little Italy at night.

   In Chinatown we were rather surprised to see to what lengths cyclists will go to secure their bikes.

Stacking them high in Chinatown.

Stacking them high in Chinatown.

    The next morning we caught the Path train for Hoboken where our van was parked. We were pleasantly surprised in the subway to stumble upon this wonderful group of Chinese musicians. We were able to enjoy their music for about 10 minutes before our train arrived.

 

Preparing to leave out hotel for the Path station.

Preparing to leave out hotel for the Path station.

dsc07433_2dsc07435    On our way home to WV, we stopped for some lunch at Taco Bell. Here is our good friend C-Town eating his way through seven…. count’em…. seven burrittos!

C-Town vs. Taco Bell.... NO CONTEST!

C-Town vs. Taco Bell.... NO CONTEST!

06
Apr
09

NYC Day #4

 

This big blow-up devil greets you as you enter the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market.

This big blow-up devil greets you as you enter the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market.

 

 

    Saturday began with breakfast followed by a subway ride to 42nd Street. It was a brief walk from there to the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market on 39th. There is not rain, but it is gray and cloudy with winds gusting up to 50 mph. About 50 dealers are set up, but I understand that on a warm, sunny day there can be three times that many. Now I must tell you that overall the prices on stuff at NYC flea markets is a bit steeper than those in WV, OH, and PA. In addition, rarely do the NYC vendors put actual price stickers on their merchandise, which means you must ask the price on anything you are even remotely interested in.

 

Jessie checks out some merchandise.

Jessie checks out some merchandise.

    Paul, Jessie, and I purchased some Chinese propaganda posters, similar to those which influenced artist Shepherd Ferry. Otherwise, I found little at the market that interested me enough to want to take it home. It is fun to look at the various booths, and the contrast of the market vendors against a back drop of skyscrapers makes for a great view.

 

The vendor wraps up my posters.

The vendor wraps up my posters.

    We finished our flea market stroll and headed back to the hotel to pick up some later sleepers. From there we took the subway to Chelsea and spent the afternoon visiting one gallery after another. At the Gagosian Gallery we saw Chuck Close taking in the Picasso: Mosqueteros exhibition. Below are a view pics from some of the galleries we visited Chelsea.dsc_0225

Lambros takes it all in.

Lambros takes it all in.

 

 

Padgett examining a small painting.

Padgett examining a small painting.

 

 

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04
Apr
09

NYC Day #3

A few of our students created their own "umbrellas".

A few of our students created their own "umbrellas".

Another day of rain in the big apple!

Another day of rain in the big apple!

    Thursday was sunny and warm, but today it was rain once more….. only much harder than Wednesday! We headed to the Guggenheim early this morning to see the Asian influences show. Everyone else in Manhattan must have had the same idea as the lines were unbelievable. A good show overall, but not as exciting as I had predicted. 

    We headed to Columbus Circle to visit Manhattan’s newest museum, MAD (Museum of Art and Design). Along the way we stopped for lunch. However, we had to sit in the “outdoor” section due to the place being packed. While we waited for our food a mega-thunderstorm came through and we then realized the fabric roof LEAKED! Imagine eating while holding umbrellas!

Lesson: avoid eating in a cafe with a leaky roof!

Lesson: avoid eating in a cafe with a leaky roof!

    We were a bit soggy, but it was off to the MAD museum. And it was WOW! Did I say WOW? I think I did. What a great place, and the works were fantastic! No photography inside, but take my word for it, this is worth the 15 dollar admission. Lots of recycled materials being used in VERY creative ways. I think our entire group  was impressed.

In front of the MAD museum, and it just stopped raining.

In front of the MAD museum, and it just stopped raining.

    We headed back to the hotel for a quick rest, and then to an off-broadway play at the Manhattan Theatre Works. It was a Shaw play called Mrs. Warren’s Profession, and it was very well done. On the way back to the hotel we stopped for a falafal (sp?) sandwich in Greenwich Village. And as soon as I post this, I am off to bed!

On the #6 train heading to our hotel in Chinatown.

On the #6 train heading to our hotel in Chinatown.

A pic taken just down the street from our hotel.

A pic taken just down the street from our hotel.