Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Shutting Down the Art Machine

Hi everyone, I'm going to leave this blog up, but from now on I will be posting on my website bolg. Check it out for future updates here.  Thanks!

Monday, July 08, 2013

Behind the Veil

In many cases, when I start a piece with a simple idea, it blossoms into something entirely different that inspires me to push the envelope. I can only achieve this when I don't limit myself. That, is how I create great art. With this piece, I started with a simple sketch. For this, I try not to think to hard about what I am sketching. I just hold onto a thought, idea or a feeling and let it flow. In many cases half a drawing will suffice.  I like perfect symmetry and will flip it in Photoshop.

  I usually do a few sketches and gravitate to making whatever feels right to make. Originally this was going to be a base for my Shiva figure but after I established the size and was well underway, my wife Erica, pointed out that most people wont have a shelf or area large enough to fit my 18"x 24" base, not to mention the materials would cost more than the Shiva figure. My wife will tell you I don't admit this enough, but she was right. Then I thought, well I could stop here and start over, but I was really starting to get into the piece. Sorry Chris, I will be doing the base next :)

I love organic shapes and free flowing forms, but the idea that kept me focused on this particular sculpture was a revelation I had on making it translucent. For years I have been creating pieces with PVC tubing, resin parts and lights which are fun, free-form model building exercises in my patience. My fingers were constantly caked with glue and I was getting head aches from the fumes. I knew for my next art piece, I wanted to put aside the glue and the thousands of parts I constantly dig through and DIVE INTO SOME FUCKING CLAY! The wonderful thing about clay is that I have so much more freedom to make the shapes and things I see in my mind. The trick is how to convey my vision in the proper material without it looking like every other sculpted piece I've made or seen. This is when I started thinking about vacuum form. I fell in love with vacuum forming in 1995 at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh when I threw together a crotch piece for a creature I made using a dinner plate and some tubing. Since then I have done countless masks,  chest pieces, and a myriad of other parts on this odd machine of heat and suck. So I coughed up the dough (OUCH) to get my own. I haven't fired her up yet but I hope to this week! I've already molded the piece pictured above, now I am sculpting an under piece (pictured below) that will be seen through the vacuum form. I only have half of it completed so far, the image is flipped.
I have a LOT of work to do to get to where I want it to be, but you can see my mock up Photoshoped image of the two combined below. I can't wait to see how this turns out! Especially with a good paint job and internal lights :)

Sunday, May 19, 2013


Two weekends ago, my wife Erica and I took the kids with us for the Monsterpalooza convention. Needless to say, it was a very busy weekend. The two weeks before the show, I was scrambling to complete two new sculptures that had been haunting me for years.
In late 2007, I was approached by Andrew Cawrse of "Freedom of Teach" (now Anatomy Tools) to create an instructional DVD for his site/brand. The DVD was to be about the creation of a Stop-Motion Puppet, from the script, storyboards, design, sculpting, armature building, casting, painting...the whole gambit. I had been working on a new installment of STASIS, so it was not a stretch that I was going to be creating new puppets anyway. I was thrilled to do something with Andrew and immediately set about designing. One of my first rough ideas was sketched below. Bet before I got too far into the design phase, Andrew wanted me to buy every single instructional DVD I could find about sculpting in small-scale to armature creation. I ended up with like 10 DVD's, that took me forever to watch because they mostly bored the shit out of me. I told Andrew that I was determined to make an instructional DVD that was not only professional, but funny and entertaining. I spent the better part of the next month or two writing my syllabus for each DVD chapter in conjunction with 50 or so storyboards illustrating what the character I was calling "SHIVA" had to perform on film. I also came up with budget scenarios for a low-end to high-end production. Then I was ready to move forward, BUT, by this time Andrew was changing the name of his company to Anatomy tools and now wanted to put forward only "anatomy" type instruction. I totally understood, but I was crushed. Andrew asked if he could pitch the idea to the Gnomon school and I agreed, of course, and asked if he would please let me know what the outcome was, but never heard from him again. I didn't care that much about scrapping the instructional DVD, but it burned when he never called me back, even after I left messages. Friendship was more important than a stupid DVD to me.
I continued to do sketches of "SHIVA" because I was not going to let go. I built an armature based off of my sketches. Then, for some reason, it sat for maybe a year, collecting spiderwebs and dust. Then one day in August of 2011, my friend Clint Burgin had a sculpting party at his sculpture shop in Santee. I grabbed my armature, clay, my heat lamp, and dove in. I had an old casting of just the chest and face of my Eve character I did in 2000 that Andrew and I originally planned to use and include as a selling point for the DVD. Below, you can see me integrating the white resin chest into the oil-based clay. That was a fun sculpting party, with old and new friends like Jim Moore, Jonathan Fuller, Mike Biasi, and Ryan Buckalew. When you get a group of like-minded guys working together in the same room, the stories shared quickly digress....I had a blast.
Pictured from left to right: Clint Burgin, James Moore, and Jonathan Fuller. Not pictured: Jason and Rachele King.

Unfortunately, the day after that party, I was in pain. I tried to keep working on SHIVA at home but my neck was really stiff.
I thought maybe I slept on it wrong, but as the weeks went by, it was steadily getting worse. After an MRI, doctors discovered two herniated disks in my neck. My life took a turn for the worse. I was having trouble raising my arms and the pain in my upper shoulders and neck was becoming chronic. Thinking that my career as a sculptor was done, I became severely depressed. At one point, I even considered taking my own life. After about a year of physical therapy, chiropractic care, and corrective exercise, I finally turned the corner. What I discovered, was that being active and going back to Karate, of all things, is what saved me.
On June 22nd of 2012, I was home for a long weekend after a vasectomy. I was bored out of my skull icing my crotch and wanting to sculpt something fun. I dusted off the Shiva sculpture, and found my old self again. I spent many nights that summer listening to H.P Lovecraft stories like "In the Mountains of Madness" while sculpting her. She was a pleasure to create and a reminder never to give up on my dreams.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Cartwheel Art

At the opening of Copro Nason's "Futurology" show I met Keith Dugas from Cartwheel Art, a hub for collecting and collecting art. Check out this great article about the show by Mr. Dugas here
Photo by fellow artist Jenn Porreca

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


I have been outraged at the way our government has been treating other countries and its own citizens. Raising our payroll taxes, and killing American's and innocent children abroad with drone strikes, while they try to stifle the 2nd amendment. Thus, I have started resisting and exposing them the only way I know how. WITH MY ART. I have a showing at a gallery in Santa Monica called the Copro Nason Gallery, this weekend March 23rd. The themed group show is "Futurology" meaning, what the future might hold given the current state of the world. Come by and check it out. Show runs from March 23rd to April 13th at the Bergamot Arts Complex, 2525 Michigan Ave T5, Santa Monica, CA 9040 

  "American Nightmare" was inspired by everything I've been hearing on AM radio and conspiracy documentaries about the US becoming a "police state". I listened so much that I started having nightmares.

The “Game Of Drones” sculpture was created to draw attention to the questions I have asked our Administration about the use of drone strikes abroad, killing children and American Citizens. In my opinion, too many of us Americans don’t really see what our government is doing and question them.

In addition, I would like to thank friend and colleague, Clint Burgin, for his amazing likeness sculpture of President Obama as my center piece.

The letter below was emailed to the White House on March 2nd, 2013. I am still waiting for a response. 

Mr. President,

I am greatly concerned about the Administration's Drone-kill policy. American citizens should have the right to due process of law no matter where they happen to be in the world. Why was Anwar al-Awlaki's son killed by a US drone strike while eating at a restaurant in Yemen in September 2011? He was a Denver Colorado native and only 16-years-old? How did this happen, what possible evidence justified execution? Why was this not explained to the citizens of the United States? Even if Ibrahim al-Banna, an Egyptian believed to be a senior operative in Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, was the target, why was the attack on a restaurant? How may other innocent people died as a result? I am also appalled at the 176 reported children deaths in Pakistan alone from drone strikes. I understand that we are not sending troops in, but their HAS to be a better way.

If 20 tragic Newtown children deaths, are resulting in the restriction of law abiding citizens, 2nd amendment rights, shouldn't the deaths of hundreds of children from all around the world, including the United States, result in a more restrictive DRONE POLICY?

In a popular TV show called, "Game of Thrones", the main character opens with the following quote, which prompted me to write you today.

"If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes
and hear his final words. And if you cannot do that, then perhaps the man
does not deserve to die. A ruler who hides behind paid executioners soon
forgets what death is."
- Eddard Stark

Mr. President, I am your constituent and I vote. Please represent me. I voted for you both terms, and I believed you when you told us that their would be real change, but I never fathomed change like this.

Jason A. HIte

Thursday, February 14, 2013


On March 23rd, I will be participating in another group show at the Copro Gallery, called Futurology. I'm VERY excited about the theme as 90% of my work deals with ideas and thoughts about the future.

Copro Press Release on Futurology link here.

Thus, I've been listening to lots of NPR, AM news stations, and watching documentaries about Globalization, Neoliberalism, our corrupt MONETARY SYSTEM and other government conspiracy type shows lately...I have to say, we live in a f%$#ed up world. Did you know, that the United states represents just 3% of the worlds population and we use 25% of the Earth's resources? If the rest of the would used up that many resources we would need 2 planets. At one point I had to stop watching/listening, because I was literally scaring the shit out of myself. If even a quarter of what I learned about is true, something HAS to be done. We, as a species are heading in some BAD directions. I want my children to live in a would where they don't have to rely on a government that monitors it's citizens using drone planes. I want them to live in a "Resource Based Economy" where their is no monitory system of debt slavery.

My concept design for my new assemblage sculpture.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Conjoined III The Final Chapter

This past weekend was the closing of a group art show I was in at the Copro Nason Gallery in Santa Monica. This was the third year for this amazing sculpture show curated by artist Chet Zar, who also released his new book Black Magic The Art of Chet Zar.  It's a fantastic collection of special effects artists, painters, and 3d artists showcasing their latest work. Below are some images I took of the show and links to magazine reviews, etc.

 Me and Chet right after he signed my copy of Black Magic, The Art of Chet Zar!
 The huge crowd outside building up before the show
 Jaremy Aiello's "Guardian Something"
 Me and Gary Pressman, Copro Gallery Director.
 People checking out my latest piece, "The Virgin"
 My good friend Russ Lukich and his "Insmouth Look" creature
 Don't you just want to kiss those fish lips!
 My favorite painting by Scott Stoddard
 My "Make Me pretty" piece
The Top half of Laurie Hassold's "Lady in Waiting"