This time of year I like to take a look back at all the art, the people and explosions that shaped an extraordinary 2017. Then, I take stock of the big picture and see where we are headed into the new year. So light the fuse, here we go:
1. The Blast Factory. We spent a lot of time looking for a larger space to work. We reviewed buildings to buy, places to rent, and land to build upon. One idea took a twist and lead us on a possible adventure of renovating the Fortney Hotel in Viroqua Wisconsin. That has not happened yet... We did not find a new home for our studio. We did, however, improve and enlarge our existing workspace in Monona. The new rolling stainless steel (fireproof) work cart is super cool and works like a champ.
For 2018, we hope to add some better lighting and ventilation. And we will get another fire extinguisher! I am lucky to have the space I have.
2. Shows. We did a number of cool shows that presented our modern, gunpowder and fuse, paintings and drawings this past year. The MMOCA gallery night show at Hawks Quindel S.C., the presentation and explosion at Edgewood College, Yahara Boom at Yahara Bay Distillery, and the 50 Burns of Gray at Waypoint all were unique and brought our art to new people.
So far, we have 3 new events lined up in the new year and a few new proposals in the works. I will invite you to each event, I hope you can make it,
3. Fusographs. Our best new direction this year? Fusographs. This was a concept and plan I had hoped to get to for a couple of years. we did our first this past Summer. Burning large-scale photographs with fast and slow fuse yielded some fantastic new work. Fusographs are difficult to produce. They are fine and burn very quickly, but they look cool and are unique to any other art in the world.
More fusographs in 2018? For sure. Larger. Bolder. Better. Maybe even some fusograph portraits.
4. Sculpture. I have always wanted to do sculpture. So I worked on one this year. A bust. I used chicken wire, plaster sheets, and plaster. It is not done yet. Each morning I get to the studio, It sits there looking at me. I might blow it up. The "bust" might be a bust! But I intend to keep going at it. I will get better. I will figure it out.
Large scale concrete stacked, colored and contoured blocks in 2018. We are working on it. I just need a forklift and the go-ahead from Renee!
5. Words. We still love poetry and writing. We did not read and write as much as we hoped. Although we did get to share a few of our thoughts on blog posts and social media blasts. We love your feedback. Thank you.
No worries though, to set us up for an inspired New Year we bought a few new poetry books. One is 1000 pages of Ted Hughes work. Cool. We also found a book by Phillip Terry full of avant-guard quennetes. Here is my first attempt at one:
Cold crunch White hill Shivering dog
Thank you so much for your interest in my process and art. I hope you have a beautiful New Year.
For us, 2017 was a blast and a "bust". 2018 will be better. We intend to light it up.
It is a privilege to do what I do.
Art, poetry, music, imagination, fun.
I blow things up for a living.
In a mean but fantastic world, creativity wins.
Happy New Year!
Artist Stick Vega studied mathematics and economics, earning a B.S. in economics from UW-Madison and an MBA from Edgewood College. He owned and was CEO of online apparel retailers WinterSilks and Venus Sportswear. However, upon selling the companies more than a decade ago he headed straight to his studio - The Blast Factory in Madison, WI - to create explosive, modern art with gunpowder and high-speed fuse. Stick's current work includes paintings, drawings, fusographs (exploded photographs) and writing. Please follow Stick on Facebook and/or Twitter.