Red Rocks Installation 2017
The actual art for this project was completed in 2014 shortly after the Speedo Project. It was a fun way to experiment with multiple mediums.We created this by stapling the yarn to ply wood and screwing in the picture frames. I had such high hopes for this project. I probably thought of dozens of ideas to use it in a music video. For about a year it sat in my room, ceiling to floor. After that, it bounced between my Dad's house and my Grammy's house while I lived in Germany. Finally, when I came back to Colorado in the spring of 2017, My good friend and collaborator Dan Thiry and I took it to Red rocks to use as a background object in a video. We decided it wasn't worth the hassle to get the piece back to the car and left it there. The video was never finished.
Berlin Wall Project 2016
This was the most labor intensive project as far as crocheting goes. It came out 9 ft tall and 40 ft wide. In Mid November 2016, our team of 6 manged to get over the fences and hang this up with the help of some bed sheets. I was in Germany during the whole election cycle and I watched from a far as the political climate heated up. All Trump's talk of a wall made me think of times in the past where such structures had been erected. The Berlin wall is a fantastic example of how rising tensions can cause a lot of damage to people on both sides of a divided political climate. Luckily, now the wall has become a great showcase of art and I'm proud to be a small part of it's history. The Spray painted words say "Frieden verkauft aber wer kauft?" which translates to "Peace sells but who's buying?" It's strange that the old Megadeath saying still rings true. As of Mid March 2017, it was still on the wall. I don't know where it is now; However, I hope wherever it is, it is being enjoyed. I couldn't have asked for a better team or a better experience. Thank you to everyone who helped and encouraged me for the 6 months it took to make this happen.
Side Note: This was supposed to be up before the election, but we postponed it because Chance the Rapper had a show in Berlin the night before we put it up. Travel is expensive and the two events combined made for a truly awesome weekend in Berlin.
Emerson Bridge Project 2014
Now this is a story all about how life doesn't always work out how you want it to. I started this project during my first semester of being a computer science major. It was designed to help me get rid of all the scraps of yarn that had accumulated over the years. I would pick out color combinations and do as much as I could before the colors ran out. I worked on this project in every place I could. I would crochet in class. I would crochet at home. When I delivered pizzas, I would drive with my knee so I could crochet at the same time. (never got in an accident! woo!) People who saw me doing this wanted to help, so they would gave me yarn. Anyone who did this is a saint and I would never refuse a gift, especially one given with a kind heart. That being said, it kind of defeated the purpose of this project because I ended up with more scraps of yarn at the end than when I started.
In order to get the letters stretched to their full potential, we stapled them to cardboard. My friend good friend and collaborator Dan Thiry was over night stocking at an arts and crafts department store and would bring us trunk loads of boxes that we cut and taped together. The night before we put it up, he and I, with the help of my girlfriend at the time and my brother, spent till four in the morning making the cardboard backing and stapling the letters together. We loaded all the letters in a truck at about 9am and set off for the bridge. Originally, I wanted to have the letters on the outside of the bridge; however, my dad cautioned me that if anyone crashed because one of the letters fell, he could get sued and lose his house. Whether or not that's true, we put them on the inside of the fence. I figured this would be up for a while and the sun wasn't illuminating the colors, so we went back to clean the apartment. When we came back to take pictures, not even 2 hours later, CDOT was taking the letters down. They said it would cause distracted driving which would lead to crashes as if we don't have billboards begging for our attention as we drive. Luckily, the road crew understood the time it took to make these letters and let us pick the letters up from a warehouse later that day. They sat in storage for a couple of years until I decided it would be cool to steal my dad's van and put them up at a Trump rally. I never got funding for that and now the letters are all scattered about.
Honestly, that's fine. The pleasure of art comes mostly from the act of making something. I had a lot of fun making this and I still think the joke is funny. The only thing that bums me out is that we'll never see what it looked like in place, illuminated, the way I had envisioned it.
Project Speedo 2013
I drove past these statues every day while I delivered pizzas. I thought it would be funny to put shorts on one of them, but I couldn't quite figure out the logistics of attaching the shorts. While talking with two time Grammy winning producer Andy Immerman, (I'm not trying to name drop. that's just how I refer to him) he suggested that a speedo would be funnier. I have to admit he was right. The Colorado flag design seemed fitting because at the time I had never lived outside of Colorado and it's instantly recognizable. To save time, I bought the biggest crochet hook I could find, size M, and got to work. Even I was surprised when this only took three weeks to complete.
We put this up around noon by renting a ladder at home depot and attaching foam to the top to prevent damaging the statue. The ladder wasn't exactly tall enough, so I found myself standing on the top rung, clinging to the statue for dear life, threading on zip ties, as my friend Will and my dad pulled the yarn across the front of the statue with ropes from the ground. We didn't ask permission to do this. Word to the wise aspiring artists, act like you know what you're doing. A police officer was watching us the whole time and even came up to us afterward to congratulate us. He thought we had all the right in the world to do this.
The speedo only stayed up for a day or two; yet, it made enough of a splash to get me on the local news. About a month after we put this up, some people came into the pizza shop looking for me. I dodged them at first, but it turns out they were the crew that took the speedo down and they wanted to say thanks for the fun work day. They had a video of one of the guys sawing through the crotch while standing on a scissor lift. According to them, the speedo is hanging up in one of their offices. I'm so glad they got as much of a kick out of it as I did.
MC Chris Blanket 2013
This was the first project that made me believe in myself as an artist. Mcchris makes a point to give his fans an opportunity to meet him at the end of every show and one year I decided to make him a hat as a thank you for inspiring me to rap. (I was handing out demo's at the show) I guess he liked what he saw because he asked if I could make him a blanket. Normally I don't make blankets on request because they take so long to make. I've only made four or five in the 16+ years I've been crocheting. However, mc's first two album covers have a minimalist design and I had experimented with crocheting letters, so I decided to put myself to the task of crocheting more complex designs. It turned out pretty cool and he gave me a shout out, saying as much, on his facebook page.
When I saw him at warped tour the next year, I introduced myself as the guy who made him the blanket. He replied "Your girlfriend made it?" I'm not going to lie I was a little hurt. The lesson to be learned here is that people, especially entertainers, have a lot of stuff happening to them all the time. When giving a gift, do it without expectations on the recipient. Mc didn't have to give me a shout out but he did. That's more than I was asking for. They say don't meet your hero's and I think that's bullshit. Meet them so you can understand that they are just people, capable as you are.
All of these projects were self funded. Any help was volunteered. I feel so lucky to live the life that I do and all I ask for is the ability to make more events and projects come alive. Thank you for reading.