Thursday, November 12, 2009

Maybe something will happen... but make it soon, please

Some how I had not written anything here for a couple of days.

I guess I just had not though of anything interesting, and I am not truly sure that I have anything great to say tonight either. But tonight I did go to an art show.
Yes, those strange events in which people drink and eat for no charge, and whil
e doing so they look around to find themselves trapped in a room full of ''art'', and feel compelled, maybe obliged, to look, appreciate and/criticize what surrounds them. Some do go for the ''art,'' I hope, but at least I certainly enjoyed my evening.
Maybe I am being way too critical, maybe literacy has spoiled my brain, but I could not help but think how many things of what I saw could be better. I commented what I thought could be changed to my friends, and then noticed how overly presumptuous it was to think that way. I should just let it be, like The Beatles song, but I couldn’t. My brain kept dictating, and I voiced out the words. And some how, for the same reason that I cannot just look at something without revising its every inch and considering concept, sometimes I think academia has actually taught me what I did not want to learn.

I started to consider this as we drove away from the galleries, and I somehow related it all to my long process this past two months creating my latest sculpture. At first a time-based installation, now something else completely, this piece has taken me so long!

Every inch, every layer, every small piece of wood, everything had been well though of, everything had its meaning or purpose. The more I cut and put together, the more I would consider what the piece in its entirety would be, and consequently, the more complicated it would get. Until very recently I noticed I was not going to be able to do what I wanted. I was so upset!!

I had thought it through so well, I really wanted to see this piece happen, and I still do, but for the sake of time, I have to hurry myself up and make something different, which I have luckily already figured out. At first I felt pretty disappointed and a bit like a failure, but then I noticed how ridiculous that was. These things happen!

So, back to my main point, maybe I am thinking too much. Maybe that is making me go slower in the process of creation, but it has sped up the process of creativity. In a day I will get at least three ideas for pieces I would really like to realize, and that is good. This is good. I believe I am doing well. OK. I could be doing better… much better… but I am doing OK, and that's good enough as of now.


Friday, October 30, 2009

Performance November 11th

Once again I will post without much lyrical explanation, but time is scarce. The flier is, I hope, self explanatory: I am performing with my piece ''Ruedazuela'' in the University of Delaware in the patio of Trabant University Center from 12:30 to 3:30.

Rain date scheduled for Tuesday Nov 17th, same time.
Here are links to two local newspapers that have featured the piece in an article:
(last edition, #6)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

News Journal

A few days ago the News Journal wrote an article about a race that I was part of this past weekend. Here´s the link so you can check out what they wrote:

And just today I noticed a lil' vid was also added onto the article, which was posted on the web-page (I swear I did not make the image for the video be mine, that's just how it came up, and that's kinda awesome I guess):

It's kind of funny. The narrator explains how in this kinetic race people "decorated their bicycles" and then mine, well, its totally not a bicycle; and he also happens to say the word "bicycle" when my piece and I show up in the video.

PS: I will soon post more information about this piece and the places it has gone...

Sunday, October 18, 2009


A scrap piece of wood.
A rabbit (or hare?) covered in Wax
A scrap piece of metal.
An orange line.
A tooth.
A cardboard house.
A worn out photograph.
This aspects make up the piece here pictured, CASA/remembering. They make up the material/physical realm of this piece. That would be the most basic and straightforward explanation for it.
Now, lets get into concepts.
All of these materials were collected randomly. From boxes I have kept full of things around my room, or things that were lying around my studios. At first they were just that, random objects, but after sitting with them, a piece of paper, a pen, and (maybe?) a little rum, they became something else.
These objects are mine, I have kept them, I have collected them, and for some odd reason I did not just throw them away. They become a part of me; they represent and portray me, Esteban M. Pilonieta Vera.
The way they where arranged is meant to show something very specific (I guess the rum helped). All the objects lay on the legged scrap piece of wood because I present this to you as a theatrical moment, a snap shot of some kind, so it serves as the pedestal for it.
Weirdly enough, the rabbit has always been my favorite animal. This small toy was particularly abducted from a museum against its will, a sticker with a price directed a different ritual to take place, but my pocket found a way around it; in order to keep my kleptomaniac obsessions alive. So, my favorite animal, my little problem as a kleptomaniac, and a glob of wax. Wax? Yeah, wax. This I interpret to be like the cloud of things, the weight of the common day life that slows me down, that keeps me contrived here, in Delaware.
The tooth is the real me, or at least what at some point I really wanted to go back to being, but then I realized I am good enough as I am. It did at some point form ‘‘me,’’ since it is a molar tooth that was removed from my denture a couple of years back.
The cardboard house in which it stands in front of is CASA = home, Venezuela, Mérida, El Valle.
The orange line serves as a connecting passage between the ‘‘present me’’, and what I once considered to be the ‘‘real me.’’ It is the voyage I have to take with certain regularity so I do not drive myself insane, because I miss too much.
That is the worn out photograph, the worn out memories. At some point it portrayed my best friend, and it was in my wallet, next to other objects (like labels or tickets) that served as a quick escape (a quick fix) back home. Until it was so worn out that her face was entirely removed from the image and transferred onto my wallet’s plastic pocket. The sub-title remembering comes from these ideas, since the ‘‘present me’’ stands in front of the ‘‘real me,’’ reviving old memories.
These piece is part of a show, the Miniature / Micro-Monumental, in the Townsend University as of now, and until the beginning of November. After that they will come back to the University of Delaware together with other student’s work from Townsend and displayed here. Hopefully the show will make their way to Asia afterwards, to both Thailand and Japan.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Crucifixion/Cadaver Exquisito – A Dedication to Francis Bacon

As the title entails, this piece is meant as a three-dimensional dedication to the painter Francis Bacon. One of his crucifixion paintings inspired the figure, as well as the intent of the base from which it hangs. The base is alike to the kneeling bench in catholic churches, both in color and in padding, and at the same time, shape wise, it is like the hook from which poultry hangs. I’ve always found myself extremely interested to Bacon’s commentaries on life.
I find him to be a ‘‘true realist’’, in the sense in which he looks at humans as just a beautiful, and at the same time horrendous, compilation of skin and bones, not any different to an animal in status or design. Bacon’s technique might not be realistic, but his ideas are as re
al as it can get. The decision to use animals (= monkeys, chimpanzees, dead poultry) in his crucifixion scenes just strengthens the idea of no status difference; they are worthy (or condemned) to suffer the same ways we do. As I interpret it, Bacon saw us as exquisite corpses (cadaveres exquisitos), not as in the surrealist collaborative artistic method, but as beautiful and complex moving cadavers who work in surreal ways.
These piece is part of a show, the Miniature / Micro-Monumental, in the Townsend University as of now, and until the beginning of November. After that they will come back to the University of Delaware together with other student’s work from Townsend and displayed here. Hopefully the show will make their way to Asia afterwards, to both Thailand and Japan.

Poem Series: Vero/Angela/Maiki




These I like to describe as my poem series. Basically the pieces come into existence after I undergo a specific process. This involves me remembering. I remember specific people, places, situations, but mostly people. Friends, family, old lovers, and while I do so a make these intricate porcelain pieces that I believe incarnate them. To be able to instigate my remembrance of them, I set up a situation were I believe to remember them best. This may be by reading old letters or emails, by engaging in conversations with them online, or/and by listening to specific songs. It’s a simple process, they are simple pieces, but it’s a complex subject for me to deal with, and it’s personally important that I do so. It keeps me at balance, and from going insane.
The palettes have come to signify something truly important in my work. In some pieces they are the material that already has a weight, a history, which adds a complete different subset to the work. In these pieces the palettes are exactly what they are in normality, a platform for an object to be sent. This way I send off my strapped poems out to the world. They were written, composed, or formed, for someone far away, so it just seems proper that they have the same fate, to travel far away.
These pieces are part of a show, the Miniature / Micro-Monumental, in the Townsend University as of now, and until the beginning of November. After that they will come back to the University of Delaware together with other student’s work from Townsend and displayed here. Hopefully the show will make their way to Asia afterwards, to both Thailand and Japan.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Miniature Monumental - Process

These are two other pieces I have been working on the side while I do my big mountain project. They both will, hopefully, be part of a show in Townsend University in Baltimore, Maryland, called ¨Miniature Monumental¨. It’s a little nerve wrecking, because there are so many things happening, and this being my first opportunity for an out of DE show, and will maybe even go over seas, but luckily they are tiny, even though I want to work on more of their details. I’m thinking of making two more too.
The waxed hare, tooth and cardboard house I have decided are a self-portrait. The other one will be called either Crucifixion or Cadaver Exquisito (Exquisite Corpse in Spanish), accompanied by a second title, Three Dimentional Homage to Francis Bacon, or A Dedication to Francis Bacon.
I will give better, clearer explanations when I finish them.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Progress - Corte Y Fuera

I have been working on a very time consuming piece the past couple of weeks. The most basic explanation I can think of is that it will be a wooden mountain (or group of mountains rather). It will be 21 feet long by 19 wide, varying in heights, with its highest point (mountain) being 7 feet tall. The highest peak is divided by a fake wall, which creates a small passage between the space's walls. The whole structure will be made out of salvaged wood, mostly palettes, which are cut to specific sizes and angles, but left untreated. On the mountains would lay small cubes that imitate the formation, organization and spatial designs that can be seen in Latin American slums, but I try to make the objects extremely simplified, so interpretation of what the cubes are can be very open ended. I still have not decided on the material that these cubes will be made out of, but I am experimenting with different things, mostly clay as of now.

It's very hard to explain it, but I hope the images help. All I know is that I see it in my brain, and I cannot stop dreaming about walking through this installation. I am truly exited and want to finish this piece by the end of this semester.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

From Here To Nowhere @ Old College

Installment pictures taken by Grant

This past weekend of September 12th I displayed a sculpture in the green areas surrounding the Old College area. Here are some of the images of the installation of the piece, and of the piece it self.

The sculpture, From Here to Nowhere, is a collection of 10 pedestrian signs that vary in height. White arrows surrounded by a white frame intend to create a personal image of the nonexistent object or place that one searches for.

Two different ideas are entwined with this piece: life goals and bilingualism. As one interacts with the piece, following the signs or just thinking about what they may direct to, one searches after something that is not there, that way commenting on the things we miss on our day to day lives while trying to reach what we may imagine to be a bigger, most important, life goals. On the other hand there is the idea that I cannot control what the public reads from the piece, which is always a factor when displaying work.

English is not my first language. Sometimes, actually almost always, I don´t know if what I said was really what I intended, or if what I heard was what was said. This is why I chose to make the piece so vague, to reference the strange case of having to translate everything on my brain to a different language.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What is it? = Coalesce Thoughts

A three-week trip into poor neighborhoods in Venezuela + three months of scholarly work + ten minute powerpoint presentation about the work I underwent throughout whole summer + a one-week art show with six other artist’s = My summer.
A coalescing series of thoughts, ideas, concepts that through the summer I investigated took control of my day-to-day routine, until I created the pieces exemplified in the accompanying images. Basically my summer dealt with exploring the scarcity of housing in Venezuela, dealing primarily with a strong interest on “invasions,” the most simplified and precarious forms of housing. Invasions (or invasiones in Spanish) are a form of improvised housing constructed on abandoned lands. The invader (invasor) seeks to stay in the land for two months, which is the time the government requires to prove the land has been truly abandoned, in order to demand ownership of the land to local authorities. The first days the house might be made out of cardboard, after a couple of days it may progress into a simple wooden/zinc construction, and as time passes the invader tries to improve the risky conditions they live in.
The two sculptures I made represent these two concepts of ownership (or lack of) and progression. On the one hand trying deal mostly with the human interactions within a space, and the other with just the physical/aesthetical aspects of the constructions I visited. The invader is in a strange "limbo-like" stage for the two months they have to stay in the land: it is not theirs, but they sleep, eat, defecate, live there; if asked to move, they might fight, but before the two month process odds are against them; hence the wheels on "Untitled" (or "Sin Titulo"). As they stablish their housings the construction starts to change and the improvable becomes permanent. The surroundings start to grow and similarly to as how they were the first ones to enter, there will be more to come, and the migrant becomes a resident. Allways a progression, never ending, just with changing variables every once in a while. A progression of materials, of time, of quantity, of history. A progression overall.
“Untitled”, or El Rancho en Ruedas (The Shanty on Wheels), how it has been nicknamed by family and friends, will be traveling around town the next couple of weeks. First will be the Newark area, to finish parking (invading?) on a the Recitation Hall Gallery Space in the University of Delaware, and be part of an art show, "I Know What Your Did Last Summer."