Anne and I took the plunge on Saturday and purchased a new 2011 Toyota Prius II. It is black, but maybe a wee bit too much Photo-Shopping might have obscured that fact. It was too wet this morning to go biking, so we drove up to North County to do some car shopping. We got a line on a pretty cheap, used Prius that was up there (thank you, John) and while we were in the neighborhood stopped off at Spirit Toyota. No, they didn’t have any Prius cars on the lot, but there was one coming in soon, maybe even that day. We took down the information, left our number and were backing up our car when the car carrier rolled into the parking lot. We pulled back, saw a black Prius roll past us and were getting out of the car again when the salesman came running out to us. A couple of hours later we drove off with our new car.
Dan, sent us an email that started off, “Super brief write-up featuring everyone’s least favorite artist who ran away to Michigan for the summer.” In his email he forwarded the weekly newsletter. Camper and artist, Carolyn Jonauskas, another fellowship student at Ox-Bow, was tasked to create this week’s newsletter. She choose Dan as one of the subjects that she choose to write about. As a proud papa, I have shamelessly copied the part about Dan. I especially like her observation, “His incredibly fast narrations describing his work and his research becomes almost as interesting as the work and makes the objects much more complex and human oriented.” That’s our Dan!
Daniel Axe is a second year graduate student at California Institute of the Arts and frequently makes sculptures often utilizing miniature model making techniques, although drawing, bookmaking and other technical medias are also employed. As an art maker, his work starts out with a research topic which he then begins looking for a subject, an anecdote, a story, a photograph, something that sparks his interest and seemingly becomes the beginning of a work. He keeps researching until some anecdote takes it from history to something that turns it into a story, and then he strips away everything that is recognizable besides what he finds interesting. The objects themselves become very narrative, but often that story is ambiguous, and more complex than the viewer may be aware of. In the work titled, “The Almighty has said, no doubt: ‘Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together,’” Dan investigates interests in Halley’s Comet and much of the interesting facts and lore that surrounds the comet. Using topographical maps, he constructed a model of the comet and lofted it into the air with thin steel rods above a dining table. The height of the comet makes it unobtainable by the human viewer below. The sculpture also addresses humanity’s interest with the only comet humans can see both with the naked eye as well as twice in a lifetime. It is an interesting example of how Dan funnels his research into a sculptural object. When discussing the project, small facts and fictions filled the interview and quickly intrigues the listener into a finely spun tale of the incredible comet. His incredibly fast narrations describing his work and his research becomes almost as interesting as the work and makes the objects much more complex and human oriented. When asked about how much of his research he thinks shows in the work and can be gleaned from the viewer, he expressed that he hoped his work would ignite questions and intrigue in the viewer, even if those questions are not the same ones he himself asked during the research process.
David, my other son, is beginning to wind down his stint as an intern at NIH. He is in the mist of training his replacement and trying to finish up some research before he departs in July for Purdue. He got to see the Cardinals play, when they were in DC to play the Nationals, but unfortunately they lost.
Finally, on this Father’s Day, Anne and I would both like to give a shout out to both of our dads, John and Harry. Have a very happy Father’s Day, you guys. You’ve earned it!