12 February 2017

Mixed Media Panels (2017)

Last summer, I transitioned from creating small-scale, paper-based collage works to larger mixed media panels. Below, I've listed the pieces that I've made since January 2017. All images are lo-res. Please email joshua_ware@hotmail.com for purchase inquiries or hi-res repeoductions.


ROSEWOOD FADE OUT // RPM DOPPELGANGER (2017)

Acrylic, paper, adhesive, and varnish on wood panel
30" x 18" x 2.25"


Phenomenology of Heartbreak I & II (2017)

Acrylic, paper, adhesive, and varnish on wood panel
17.5" x 30" x 2.25" (each panel)


HARDCORE // SPIDERCAP (2017)

Acrylic, paper, adhesive, and varnish on wood panel
30" x 30" x 2.25"


EXIT WOUND // FASHION SHOOT (2017)

Acrylic, paper, adhesive, and varnish on wood panel
36" x 36" x 2.25"

Mixed Media Panels (2016)

Last summer, I transitioned from creating small-scale, paper-based collage works to larger mixed media panels. Below, I've listed the pieces that I made between October and December 2016. All images are lo-res. Please email joshua_ware@hotmail.com for purchase inquiries or hi-res repeoductions.


SOLAR MAXIMUM (2016)

Acrylic, paper, adhesive, and varnish on wood panel
30" x 30" x 2.25"


Self-Portrait on a Flat Surface (2016)

Acrylic, paper, adhesive, and varnish on wood panel
30" x 30" x 2.25"


FCKING KUBRICK (2016)

Acrylic, paper, adhesive, and varnish on wood panel
50" x 36" x 2.25"


DEADGLOW (2016)

Acrylic, paper, adhesive, and varnish on wood panel
16" x 12" x 2.25"


FUTURE BODIES (2016)

Acrylic, paper, adhesive, and varnish on wood panel
34" x 34" x 2.25"


INSCAPE (2016)

Acrylic, paper, adhesive, and varnish on wood panel
61.5" x 36" x 2.25"

13 October 2016

Vouched Books Archived Articles

Between 28 March 2013 and 11 April 2014, I wrote articles for the now-defunct Vouched Books. (Although the website currently is live, it occasionally disappears.) In order to preserve the articles I wrote, head editor Laura Relyea allowed me to migrate my pieces to my personal site for archival purposes. Outside of some shorter, filler pieces, every post I wrote during my tenure for Vouched Books can be found  in reverse-chronological order on this blog. In total, there are 72 articles reproduced on this site.

Larissa Szporluk Introduction

This article first appeared as a post titled "Best Thing I’ve Heard/Read This Week: Larissa Szporluk" at Vouched Books on 11 April 2014.

traffic225 For final event of this season's Poets of Ohio reading series, Larissa Szporluk visited Case Western Reserve University from Bowling Green, OH to read and discuss her poetry. Below is an excerpt from my introduction to the event, as well as a video clip of her reading one of her poems:

I first became aware of Larissa Szporluk's poetry in 2004, when one of my graduate school professors, the late-Jake Adam York, mentioned her as someone he considered to be one of the premier, contemporary poets writing at the time. Specifically, he directed me to her third, full-length collection of poetry, The Wind, Master Cherry, The Wind (Alice James Books, 2003).

While reading the book, I was struck by the ability of Szporluk’s poems to challenge not only the manner in which we use language, but their capacity to fundamentally alter the way in which we view the world; or, as she herself wrote in the poem “Death of Magellan”:
Heaven was lost

when up and down
lost meaning. (5)
Yes, just as Ferdinand Magellan’s circumnavigation of the globe altered humanity’s spatial relationship to/of the world during the sixteenth century--literally changing our notion of what "up and down" meant--Szporluk’s poems changed the manner in which I conceived of both language and poetry at a time when I was primarily familiar with the canonical and anthologized poems taught in literature courses. More than a decade ago, then, her poems acted as a literary and poetic passage that was theretofore uncharted for me.

This semester, though, my students and I read her most recent book, Traffic with MacBeth (Tupelo Press, 2011), which, among other things, explores what happens when “violence takes over” (26) both the natural and human worlds. Take, for instance, the opening lines of the poem “Mouth Horror”:
Five male crickets
sing and fight.
The loudest wins,

the softest dies (38)
The poem presents the reader with the seemingly benign image of crickets chirping on a summer evening; but the moment quickly transforms it into a Darwinian struggle, wherein the “loudest” crickets “win,” such that their “chirp[s]” become “swords” that leave the “loser[s to] rot”:
into the sweet black gore
of cricket joy
expressed to death

in one dumb glop (38)
Such violence manifests itself again and again throughout Traffic's representations of the natural world, as seen in the wind that “leaves a deep pocket / of dusk in your scalp” (3), a ladybird “carcass / on a snow-white beach” (7), or the image of an “eye of the cat-torn mouse” (41).

The violence that permeates natural world, though, does not remain within its bounds; rather, it overflows into the human realm by way story and myth. For example, in the opening stanza of the poem “Baba Yaga”; the poem’s namesake, who is a sorceress from Slavic folklore, tells us that:
I cooked my little children in the sun.
I threw grass on them and then they died.
I sit here and wonder what I’ve done. (47)
While, no doubt, this moment of infanticide demonstrates most evidently the violence inherent to the human world, there are also minor violences, often self-inflicted, that occur throughout the collection. In the poem “Accordion,” the speaker notes:
When the blood leaves my arm at night,
my arm is independent.
I hold it up, my own dead arm,
and flap it at the sleepers
in adjoining rooms around me.
Beating time, like being dead, is easy. (41)
Indeed, something as mundane as sleeping on one’s arm so as to cut-off circulation, thus inducing that “pins-and-needles” feeling, offers us a meditation on death that confers upon us the understanding that “being dead, is easy”—at least to the extent that its specter is ever-present and always near.

To this end, I think, the purpose of Traffic with MacBeth's violence is to provide us with a heightened awareness of the fragility of life; and, thus, instills within us a greater appreciation for our brevity.

Here's a video clip of Szporluk reading her poem "Flight of the Mice" from her first collection Dark Sky Question (Beacon Press, 1998):

The Art of Ian Huebert

This article firt appeared as a post titled "Best Thing I’ve Read This Week: Ian Huebert" at Vouched Books on 04 April 2014.

If you don't recognize the name Ian Huebert, you probably have, at least, seen his work. Most recently, Huebert designed the cover for Matthew Zapruder's newest collection of poems Sun Bear (Copper Canyon, 2014). He also created the cover art for Dan Chelott's X (McSweeney's, 2013), Jeff Alessandrelli's Don't Let Me Forget to Feed the Sharks (Poor Claudia, 2012), and is the primary cover artist for the chapbooks released by Dikembe Press.

In addition to designing covers for collection of contemporary poetry, though, Huebert also is an accomplished cartoonist and minimalist poet. Over the course of the past year or two, he has self-published a limited-run chapbook series of his drawings and poetry, titled Comb. Take a look at the below excerpt from issue one (click for large view):

Ian

One of my favorite aspects of the above image is how the text of the poem appears to both rupture the aesthetic surface of the cartoon, while simultaneously integrating itself into the image rather seamlessly. At least as a visual text, its ability to look both coherent and fractured is something that pleases me. (My critical vocabulary for visual art is limited, so my apologies for any idiomatic lack.)

As far as the poem itself, I enjoy how Huebert transforms a rather benign, childhood activity, such as climbing a "cherry tree," into a "base," sexual experience. Likewise, the wordplay via repetition and difference (i.e. "said" and "saying) and homonyms (i.e. "right") adds another dimension of linguistic depth within the rather small space of ten lines.

Moreover, the sexual transformation that occurs in the poem alters our interpretation of the image; a child peeking through a hole in a fence becomes a moment of voyeuristic, sexual gratification instead of an innocent moment of childhood "spying."

If you'd like to purchase a copy of issues one and two of Comb, or any of the other various woodcuts and prints Huebert has made, check out both his website or his tumblr account. You can also find a handful of Huebert's poems in this year's Lovebook by SP CE.