Thursday, October 23, 2014

Return of the Zombie Mill: Steve Nyland Paintings & Drawings @ Hamilton Center for the Arts, October 2014

Reposted! with some highlights from the reception event; new content below the *****

So this tale begins back in January when Hamilton Center for the Arts director Kathy Herold tallied up the headcount of pieces sold from last year's Zombie Mill exhibit and decided that STEVE NYLAND'S ZOMBIE PAINTINGS RULE. Invited me to do a Return Of show in October for Halloween and with about 150 of the damn things hanging around the house decided why not. Here's how things shaped up.

Back in Syracuse the weekend before with the 108 zombie paintings selected, here awaiting labeling. It took THREE HOURS just to label the work, and I will never mount a show with so many individual pieces in it ever again.


To give some perspective, here's a view of my accommodations in Syracuse (gave up my apartment back in July to be able to afford to do all this) from the cot provided, consisting of a storage room for 35mm slides in my dad's basement. The rent is free, there's a hot shower upstairs, mom's good with a breakfast pan, and four days of the week I'm in Utica subletting with a female colleague who likes to help teach me how to paint my toenails (blue) on Saturday morning.

Life is good.

Cazenovia Lake on the drive from Syracuse to Hamilton.

Windmill Studies, Madison County NY.

The sign of the Windmill Cult, with setup & all labeling finished at 10:14pm, October 8 2014. I was back in Utica waiting in line for my victory Whopper with cheese by 11:53pm and in bed by two for a 9am appointment the next day. This is work.

A gaggle for the front window. Here's a look at some of the individual pieces, most on the order of 7 x 16 inches or so and painted on cedar utility shingles using Golden's acrylics with NeoColor II caran d'ache watercolor crayons.

Zombie Who Hasn't Been Paid Yet. Please, no more invitations to paint on commission without HALF the pay up-front first. I won't even listen anymore.

Zombie's Been Up All Night Painting Again, one of the series where "Zombie" is referred to as a specific individual, serving as a self-portrait image.

The Zombie Conniption Fit series. Left to right:

Stage One - Realization that something absolutely simple went fugazi. 
Stage Two - Body tremors, frothing at the mouth and spontaneous profanity. 
Stage Three - Meltdown.

Zombie Didn't Need to See Your Hot Art-Porn Just Now, inspired by encountering an acquaintence's somewhat overly revealing work at a jam-packed 80 degree reception without having been previously warned what sort of content to expect so soon after lunch.

Cosmonaut Helmet Studies, an "unfinished" piece from 2013 that I've always been fond of.

Cosmonaut Gesture Studies, ditto to the above.

Mutant Porno Cosmonauts, using the flaws in the cedar shingle surface to suggest anatomical features common to such entertainment.

Zombie's First Date in Twelve Years

Zombie Flicking His Thermometer, inspired by a nasty bout of unwelcome seasonal bronchitus and one of my favorites of them all.

Varick Street Zombie, based on the pix below taken during the Utica Music & Arts Fest live mural performance on Varick St. in downtown Utica, September 15 2012.

Photo: Kathy Bortoff Stockbridge

Zombie's S2pid iFonez Update Just Crashed Again


Zombie Organ Grinder and Trained Space Chimp with Crippled Old Cyborg, somewhat larger piece painted on two shelf panels dragged from a heap by the side of the road.

Harold the Zombie, a recent one named by mom as it resembles a family friend named Harold.

Zombie Yarfage, still the best one of them all. Produced on a grim Sunday in November after being run out of an art reception like a naughty little boy for having the nerve to take pictures of the artwork to show on the INTERNET! via my rinky-dink little "arts blog" which nobody's ever heard of. Already sick and feverish with seasonal bronchitus (every year ...), exhausted from the effort of dragging my person out of bed to be present for the show and with my stomach churning from the combination of cheap store brand Robitusson and fashionably trendy gluten-free finger food, I went home and cheerfully barfed my guts out  :D  Then made a painting about it which has yet to be surpassed with such direct, unflinching expression of disgust & finesse in use of materials. Just look at those hands ... I painted that???

And lastly Creepfloat! or The Final Voyage of the HMS Chumbucket, selected for the Hero Wall by the big front window. Painted for the Syracuse Public Arts Task Force Creek Float event in May of 2014. the painting was lashed to an inner tube & floated down Onondoga Creek through downtown Syracuse as part of a floating art flotilla while dozens of onlookers cheered from the banks.

Opening reception Friday October 17th starting at 6pm!


UPDATE 10.23.14!
The reception event was a success, here's a look.

With my zombie bouquet from Emma, Barb & Mark Golden! LOL somebody was a good boy.

With eyeball, severed fingers and lobotomized brain.

Making my Klaus Kinski face with Barb & Emma Golden.

With artist Christopher Farrell and our eBola Zombies collaboration from the Utica Memorial Auditorium mural painting extravaganza. Darn right I wanted to show that! I was hip to the eBola thing before they even started letting infected people into the country.

We had balloons.

There was iced tea and cookies.

Everybody had a real good time.

I wore my nicest shoes.

It was fun to have another art show so soon after the last one.

I am glad you came to my art show.

Kathy Herold

Drove all the way back to Syracuse with that riding shotgun and no cop even pulled me over.

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