Two pages from a sketchbook, 1975
Installation View from Matthew Marks Gallery 1997, including “Mopes Line”
Untitled Sculpture 2005
Started looking through old photos and sketchbooks. This particular one, from when I was 15, was clearly influenced by Claes Oldenberg’s “Notes in Hand” book. Lot’s of ideas for floppy overstuffed things, some small collages and some declarative statements about “environmental art”. Aside from the sad spelling, I noticed that I ended up making some things not unlike these pieces with my “Mopes” pieces from the mid 90’s and again in a sculpture from 2005. Ideas keep cycling around.
Lap Dog, 1986
leather shoes, brass plates, chains
12 x 12 x 4”
One of the first pieces I made after deciding to abandon making installations for a while and returning to sculpture. The shoes were a pair that I wore for over a year and a half, purchased at an Army/Navy store on Market Street. So there’s fetishism, and an early examination of bondage and humiliation here. It’s a piece that marks the wearer and hobbles them.
The other part that is pleasurable about making things is pure problem solving: how with my limited skills, to connect the chains to the shoes?
This was shown in my first show in Media Gallery in San Francisco: a South of Market Space run by Patricia Davidson
Explaining “Margaret Dumont as Madame de Mistival” a piece from “The Philosopher’s Suite” 1990-3
Nayland Blake takes over Matthew Marks’ 22nd Street exhibition space with humorous assemblage and found-object sculptures. The small presentation, reveals Blake’s interest in crafting a narrative through overlooked objects and subversive content. Blake searches for discarded identities and brings them to the forefront of his work. What Wont Wreng is on view through April 20th 2013 at Matthew Marks, 502 West 22nd Street, New York. Photo and text Juliana Balestin
Production Still from Hare Follies 1997 presented at the Brooklyn Academy of Music
From a commissioned performance. This is a moment from the middle section, called “Blood” which used dialog from a number of sources including “Blacula”. I’m performing with Patricia Hoffbauer, and designed the sets and costumes.
In truth this whole piece was a tribute to/rip off of Richard Foreman’s plays, and Kathy Acker’s novels. The script is a collaged text that attempts to talk about the realities of race and desire by stitching together stuff like “The Turner Diaries” and lyrics from Yellowman.
Subordinate Clauses 1991 bird’s nests, aluminum, steel and wood. dimensions variable
Made this in the frenzy of work around the 90-91 period. In part I was transitioning out of my restraint pieces and into the bouquet pieces that used much more delicate materials. Looking at this now I feel like it takes a lot from Jannis Kounellis. One of the small group of pieces I showed at Mary Boone’s gallery in ‘91.
Untitled 1983 charcoal on paper 40” x 60”
I made this while in grad school at CalArts. It was boen out of frustration, mostly. Sexual of course, but also I was wrestling with the problems of how to make work that was identifiably “gay” and yet made sense to me as being about something else. I was trying to pack way too much into each piece, and CalArts was not the right school for anyone who was over thinking every last thing they were making. It was quite some time before I could figure out a way of adressing all of the aspects of my personal experience.
I still think armpits are hot, however.