right now!     ian g. cozzens updates, news, photos, and thoughts

reviewed !

May 24, 2008 at 4:41 am

Greg Cook (boston-area comics artist, art critic, and thoughtful dude) wrote up our art show at AS220 on his New England Journal of Aesthetic Research and reviews it further, in the Providence Phoenix. Some good comments and good constructive criticism. It seems that he falls more or less in the same place I find myself, in terms of what is unsatisfactory to me in the work I am doing, the areas I struggle with. hmm…

Now I’m working hard in the non-virtual world to a) take care of long-neglected logistical & organizational tasks, and b) to actually do the work and make the objects that are of interest to me, and possibly, to you! Summer is here, and in the past week I’ve somehow re-started planting stuff in my community garden plot, and am now cooking interesting food again (meaning: including vegetables!, as opposed to just eggs, cheesy eggs, PBJ sandwiches, grilled cheese, tuna fish sandwiches, beans & rice, and oatmeal). It’s hard to stay inside when the sun is out and the wind is blowing.

I’ve been putting work first for a while now, so this past week, I’ve been doing a bunch of things that, though not strictly necessary, have removed the burden of “oh crud, I really need to take care of that soon, it just gets worse the longer I put it off!” echoing through my head every time I think about them. These include: digging out my bed in the community garden and re-filling it with healthier soil, transferring the patient cacti and succulents into larger pots, being in contact with some old friends, emptying out the gross bottom layer from the worm-compost bucket, etc. Amazingly, there were still some worms alive in there, in a mass of their completely chewed through and digested soil — despite the fact that I got overwhelmed with managing the compost back in the late fall, and haven’t looked at it, at all, for six months! Now it has been replenished with new ripped-up newspaper and some fresh veggie scraps, from the leek soup I made last night. Building a new bin for the worms, of the right size and depth, is still on the list of “stuff that is stressful to look at and think about how I need to do it soon” — but, the fact that the worms are alive at all is a reassuring reminder that a) things get done and b) things will be okay.

upcoming, rapidly

May 15, 2008 at 1:29 am

Farmers’ Markets poster: It’s further along now than it was in this picture. The Farm Fresh folks liked the layouts they saw yesterday! I am pretty psyched about it, though it promises to be a pain to align… It might be done this weekend, more likely early next week.

New Urban Arts: Come to the giant Art Party this Friday, May 16th, 6-8 pm. I’m currently helping students finish three complicated print projects. Hopefully they will all get done in time!

also, a page I am psyched about finally exists at the “cooperative (not collective)” shared server-space linkage-nexus, or whatever that kind of thing is called. it features a bunch of NUA-related collaborative web projects (and a sweet multi-colored transparent gif): cooperativenotcollective.org!!!

Print Series print #2: “private/shared”: long overdue update coming soon (also early next week) with images of drawings. thanks for your patience.

at New Urban Arts…

May 8, 2008 at 11:01 am

Here are some previews of projects that students with whom I am working at NUA are getting ready for their final show.

This is a print about one student’s house, that was bought (and has now been demolished) by the developers that bought the mill next door, so the parking lot for their condos could be larger. The large building in the background of the poster will have tentacles coming out of it & wrapping around the smaller house…

Another student is working on this insanely complex, 4-color print that will go on T-shirts and maybe some posters. It started out as just a guy with a clock-face and some leaves on his head, and morphed into this awesome dude surfing, with multi-colored plant/pineapple hair that has a kite, flowers, and a hawk coming out of it… It rules.

“What Time Is It?”

“Time To Get Wild!”

The New Urban Arts end-of-year Art Party & Interactive Exhibition will be Friday, May 16th, 6-8 pm. Come and check out the finished versions of this work and more, plus a fashion show, zine release, film screenings, etc. — all by Providence high school students. It’s all free, open to the public, handicapped accessible, etc, at 743 Westminster St (corner of Dean & Westminster, right across from Classical & Central High Schools, just down the block from White Electric Coffee Shop).

For more info on NUA, and to download an art party invitation, here’s our website.

this is why people use computers for this kind of stuff

May 7, 2008 at 8:06 pm

The text layout for the bottom of the farmers’ markets poster, as I draw it four times:

[initial sketch layout]


A month later: whoops, there are five more markets that need to go on the poster!

[not so good, markets are too small, layout is all choppy… but hey, rounded corners!]

[more unified, slightly larger boxes, better spaces for other information. I’ve already started inking & cutting out the rubylith, so this, with minor changes, is what I’m going with…]

Yes. I could do this on the computer (I have in the past, and I obviously do a lot of other stuff on the computer). There’s no real reason not to, besides the fact that I like holding a pencil more than a mouse . . . and there’s some sneaking suspicion that by going through these paper revisions, erasing and re-drawing, things end up better in the end. I can’t prove that, and there’s no doubt that graphics programs can also give you the same amount of gritty feedback, and offer extended possibilities for equivalent richness and complexity, as well as the ability to be more flexible in adjusting things, so I’m not really putting it out there as a position or a statement. At the end of this process, though, I’m sure that working on it by hand adds something undefinable to the final object — the mark of my hand? the wobble of the lead or the pen or the knife blade? an element of messiness that a computer can emulate, but never quite match?

Somewhat relatedly, here’s a link to Jo Dery’s website, which I think is newly present on the internet. She’s a printmaker, comic- & zine-maker, and animator/filmmaker from Providence. She works in sketchbooks, on paper, on film as well as digitally, and, um, all the results are amazing.

on the wall

May 6, 2008 at 11:43 pm

Okay, so it’s true that I seriously believed that nobody would come to the opening, or that a lot of people would come and that they all would think it was terrible. Neither of the above happened! At least as far as I could tell. Whew. I got to meet some new people, and see some old friends, and rode the wave of sleep-deprivation-induced elation until I got back to my house, packed up my stuff, & headed to Worcester for the night. It was pretty great — thanks for coming if you came; if you didn’t/couldn’t, I’ll have pictures up soon, and it’ll stay in the gallery till May 25th.

At the opening, Andrew walked into the back room, with all the sketches, drawings, & scraps pinned up on the walls, and said, “hey, it’s just like Jean’s room!” which was pretty right on. Now that the contents of my walls are all up in the gallery, what to put on the walls of my room?

Other people’s artwork!

The print on the upper left is not other people’s, of course — it’s the Curtis St. apartment print that I just got done for the show. But it’s so new, and it got done so fast, that I feel like I have barely looked at it yet. So there it is. Clockwise from upper left:

57-59 Curtis St, Olneyville, Providence, RI

Jeff Hartford (from western mass, performs as Noise Nomads, his first silkscreen ever)

Jamie Buckmaster (this is one of a series of blockprinted matchboxes which encourage the use of matches as toys, detail is below)

Meg Turner (if she has a website, I can’t find it, but her show is opening at the Woods-Gerry gallery here in Providence this Thursday, May 8th, 6-7:30 pm. The work she will show supposedly includes a 30 foot long drawing of the Providence Fruit & Produce Warehouse. Not to be missed!)

Scøtt Reber (aka noise performer Work/Death. This is the two sides (un-cut or -folded), of the insert for one of the new tapes on Scøtt’s label, Three Songs of Lenin. He’s leaving tonight on a two-week tour of the Northeast, with a bunch of other noise dudes…)

Erik Ruin (philadelphia-based printmaker & shadow puppetteer)

exquisite corpse (new angle-foldy method) by Andrew P & myself…….

I’m glad to have new stuff on the wall.


[Erik & Scøtt]

[me & Jeff]

[Meg & Jamie]

show opens today. . . .

May 4, 2008 at 9:02 am

and it’s almost ready.

[The back room/drawing room mess pile. I will document the show & put up some better images — for now, if you want to see any of this in focus, well… you gotta come to the gallery!]

I finished the brand new “57-59 Curtis St.” print at around 4 am — printed a third color on a bunch of copies of the “Ruins” print (aka “Pierre Van Passen Interviews Buenaventura Durruti, Aragon, Spain, 1936”) — washed the ink out of that screen — now to take a shower while it dries. Out of the shower — set up the screen again and print the fourth color. Then — done! and, sleep.

There will be other logistics to think about (for example, it’s raining, so I’ll have to find a ride to get my stash of posters over to the gallery), but if I can get that last color printed and looking all right on at least one copy of the print, I will be happy and feel that my somewhat perverse last-minute determination hasn’t failed me, at least not this time.

Today, Sunday, May 4, 4-7 pm, AS220’s project space (on mathewson, off washington, downtown providence). map & street view here. Come by & see the multiple reasons why I am so darn sleepy right now.

[front gallery, friday, before adjusting the lights, obviously. Stephen’s work is to the left. This is the part that looks like an “art show”… as I guess it’s supposed to? no logic here, sorry, too sleepy!]

Oh and yes, it is 9 am, and yes, I’m still awake!


May 2, 2008 at 10:19 am

Yes, despite other people’s good advice and my better judgement, I went ahead and printed postcard invitations for the show on Sunday. These were done a while ago, but I didn’t get to put the picture up until today. It’s good to have something to hand to people. . . . A bunch have already been mailed out and handed out. If you would like to get one in the mail, send me your mailing address!

so helpful.

May 2, 2008 at 12:14 am

Buio helps me get the last bunch of drawings and prints ready in time for the show! What a great cat!!!

In actual news, I am indeed trying to finish some last-minute stuff (visible there under the tail). Probably just one, maybe (if I am lucky, and fast) two new small prints. They are about the layout of spaces inside small apartments. In addition to being part of my research for the 2nd print series print (re: privacy & shared space), they (will) tie the architectural drawings in the show together with the more pictorial stuff. I hope.

And why am I paying so much attention to ordinary, crummy, low-rent apartments? Cesare Pavese, quoted in Robert Bringhurst’s The Elements of Typographic Style, says it for me:

A true revelation, it seems to me, will only emerge from stubborn concentration on a solitary problem. I am not in league with inventors or adventurers, nor with travellers to exotic destinations. The surest — also the quickest — way to awake the sense of wonder in ourselves is to look intently, undeterred, at a single object. Suddenly, miraculously, it will reveal itself as something we have never seen before.


My hasty measuring of all the work to figure out where it all goes on the wall. I am not very good at putting up art shows, haven’t done it that much, can’t afford to get anything framed right now. . . Stephen and I hung most of the show yesterday, but I ran out of binder clips and am still finishing some stuff… eep. Going back tomorrow with a new box of clips and a clearer sense of what will actually be finished. We also still have to finish putting up the ‘back room’ of the gallery, which is going to be lots of drawings, sketches, and preliminary work.

I went in today to drop off a drawing that had been at my friend’s house, and was surprised by how professional it looks, even in a not-quite-done state. In comparison to the Magic City project, it’s very sparse and “gallery-ish”, and feels empty, too much on the wall, not enough mess. Andrew says “Even though you know the people who run the gallery, it’s still a gallery.” We’ll see how the back room turns out. . . . that might ramp the mess factor up to where I feel comfortable with it. Who knows.

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