Since so much of the time that it takes to make an artwork, from beginning to finish, is taken up by the process of framing and shipping … I thought I would do a walk-through as to what it takes to frame and ship a work. All of these works are headed to London for a solo show at StolenSpace Gallery.
My frames are custom fabricated by Scott Lewis from the Walker Art Center. We worked together for quite a while to figure out what was the best design for the type of work that I’m doing. Knowing that these works are delicate and that they will be shipped around the world, forced us to creatively problem solve. We wanted the works to be as light as possible, to be able to be opened up easily and to be consistent in design.
In my work, the frame has always been of interest with its obvious connection to the history landscape painting (framing a view.) Sometimes I allow the work to be framed traditionally. On other occasions I work into the frame to make the frame part of the scene. There are still other times where I prefer that the work not have a frame at all. In this body of work for StolenSpace I created all the works on porcelain coated steel boards.
Porcelain coated steel boards are used in industrial settings like subway stations and also as whiteboards in educational settings – this is how I was first introduced to them. During my lunch break I would work on the wall behind me as I listened to music and ate. I had 25 to 30 minutes to finish a work. I find the boards to be a unique surface because it is just as easy to take away as it is to add. Nothing is permanent on the surface since nothing is actually penetrating the surface. Here is a video I made of a work being made. http://vimeo.com/57144874
After a work is finished I give it a shake to see if there are any relief elements that might fall off. You can see how vigorously I shake the works in this youtube video. After it passes the shake test, I frame it in a thin frame to finish off the edges of the board. Then the framed board is glued and screwed to a sheet of Gatorboard. That Gatorboard is then placed in the back of the larger cradle. I have to use a larger frame that is faced with acrylic to accommodate the relief elements of a work. After the work is fitted it is sealed with a strainer. The strainer keeps the frame true and also keeps the Gatorboard tight against the face of the frame. See the finished example below.