· r e j i q u a r · w o r k s ·
the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn
Don't Lick
art supplies go on the paper, not in your mouth

Why yes, I am a huge fan of peanut M&Ms, why do you ask?

‘Don't Lick’. Double spread, calligraphy and assemblage. Paper, ink, glue, labels. 26–27? feb 2020. Photographed 02mar20, lumix LX100, natural (cloudy) light.

This was the first collage out of this batch that I felt had more content than simply ‘here's a bunch of ephemera representing places we went/ate & crap I bought’ —though it surely documents some crap I bought. Practically the first thing we did after buying subway passes was to hit the local art store: often we go to Masters&Craftsmen, but the NYC Dick Blick is pretty sweet too. As you can see I got a rubber-cement pen (as well as some crayons) for doing watercolour resists, since graphite (already well equipped), ink (already well equipped[1] ) & the actual paint (already well equipped) I've got. Plenty.

We spent hours, sitting in a coffee shop and playing with our new toys. Why yes, sitting in coffee shops making art with friends is my idea of a perfect way to spend time, and we get to do it far too seldom.

As for the spread itself, one reason I liked this piece is that I actually manipulated the text a tiny bit (cutting up the Blick): this is why this sort of collaging is so difficult for me: one the one hand I wish to perfectly preserve the information inherent in the ephemera; on the other, the whole point of this style is layer, in a lovely palimpsest, the original meanings such that they become attenuated, blended, and, er, synergized? into a new whole.

In this case, I used the bag our purchases came in, a chopstick paper to a very nice restaurant we went to afterward,[2] some of Fran's original art from her senior thesis, part of a fake-hand-written piece of junk mail to (I guess?) a former tenant of her apartment, and packaging from the resist & a (very) expensive brush that wasn't at all a totally and complete indulgence.

I rationalized the cost by having everyone play with it, which I figured divided the price into quarters, because now, as f2tE so kindly pointed out, this allowed them to try something they couldn't afford. [3]

[1]Sylvus, why are you buying more Japanese liquid sumi/callig ink? Did you use up the bottle I got you for xmas already? Ooops, I forgot I got that...#embarressed

[2]This same restaurant, EAK Raman (though we had appetizers, no actual ramen, & yes, the food is good, attractively presented & reasonably priced, though it is a high-end chain—hence all the promotional materials) had really attractive—and free! in Japanese, no less!—stickers & other giveaways, so their stuff will be showing up regularly throughout this project:)

[3]Other rationalizations include the fact that I sat in a car without too much whining for 12 hours & that now the wizard doesn't need to find me a bday prezzie, though he's been working very hard to improve the Mandelbrot mandrelbot (there's a reason I'm not a very punny—or funny—person), which I think is gonna be a pretty awesome prezzie. Well then, the brush is a happy memento of shared time with friends: I still think of how two of my brothers complained bitterly when they had to unexpectedly pay a much higher price for a pair of embroidery scissors, because the shop was out of the cheaper ones (or upsold them...) some 45 years later.