ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVE
Blood has always fascinated me. It started in the 1970's with the "bloodprints". Trained as a printer early in my career, I left the anal approach to traditional intaglio and lithography behind, to see it with fresh eyes, through the prism of conceptualism. The "bloodprints" consisted of rounding up 12 previously untattooed people (6 men and 6 women), and convincing them of receiving a tattoo. While the tattoo was fresh I laid a large sheet of rice paper on the tattoo, "pulling" a blood print. In a way I asked the subject to withstand a calculated amount of pain and donate blood to my cause/art. Not a small request.
Over the years i continued with the tattoo prints (now on my person) and also have used the blood of a cow and deer in the printing process many times. It remains central to my work. Another element within my conceptual oeuvre is the use of institutions (established or invented) in order to contextualize a gesture as art. I've "adopted" children from established relief agencies, attended seminary as a sculptural practice and even established a school and church. So when the artist Whitney Lynn presented me with the opportunity to show for three days at a little alternative art gallery in Brooklyn in June, I began to rack my brain. What to do? I could easily load up the truck with recent work, drive to town and install a nice little art show. But why? Isn't there enough fucking art in NYC? And the impotence of art these days seems incredibly obvious and depressing. Why add to the dung heap?
So I decided to revert to my old school conceptual roots. Instead of concentrating on the space, I decided to concentrate on the 3 day time frame and the mission statement of the gallery to "engage the community".....and do it with blood. June 11-13, 2015 I will appeal to the artists of the world to donate blood. If all works out I will have the cooperation of either the Red Cross or The NY blood bank on-site at The Open Source Gallery in order to draw blood from the Brooklyn art community. There is no political agenda in doing this BLOOD DRIVE. It is a simple request that hopefully will resonate with enough individuals that this "art" will have a real effect in a positive way. I've established a facebook community page facebook/artistblooddrive and soon will start spreading the word, through whatever venue I have at my disposal. The parameters of the piece are very simple. If you are an artist I am asking you to give blood anywhere it is convenient, within that 3 day period in June. If you are not an artist, I would borrow from Joseph Beuys and say "Everyone an Artist" (at least for those 3 days). Roll up your sleeve. The world will thank you.