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I'm used to making site specific sculptures for spaces that don't yet exist...but this is the first time a global pandemic kept me from doing a site visit, overseeing fabrication in person, or supervising the installation. In fact, I have never seen BRUSHSTROKE in person (as of this writing)! None of this would have been possible without the incredible folks at UAP Shanghai.


All of my permanent site specific projects start with a scale model, and over the years, despite my shaky math skills, I’ve come to really enjoy building them.


I built the model for BRUSHSTROKE in my brother-in-law’s unheated garage in a small village in Catalonia this past January, where my family escaped to put our kids in school during Covid and avoid the snow for a few months. As evidenced by my two pairs of socks + insulated slippers, two pairs of pants, three sweaters and warmest hat ever from the dollar store in my Brooklyn neighborhood!

This model was super complicated to build because every floor in the Zhongshan Huafa Plaza is a different shape! The top level around the windows is actually a park 20+ meters above street level. I built a model where half the building could slide out so I could get my hands inside to play with the pieces. The hardest part honestly was finding model materials—I had to order metal roof flashing from the U.S. to make the sculpture pieces!


I didn’t have time to vectorize and cut metal pieces so I made paper cut outs and taped them to the metal forms. I photographed these from every angle, from which UAP in Shanghai made a 3D model, which allowed them to print the forms for an enormous physical scale model—like 2 meters long.


After that, I made a slightly bigger scale model in my Brooklyn studio with some necessary tweaks to the sculpture, and the rest of the project was all digital.


UAP created renderings for me to see how the sculpture would look as we made various to tweaks to the position of the pieces, heights, sizes and colors.


They also made super cool, animated 3D models I could manipulate from my studio. Additional changes were made over Zoom calls using screen sharing. I directed from Brooklyn ("Could you move the bottom of piece #5 clockwise 30 degrees?") and UAP Shanghai changed the sculpture in Rhino while I watched.


We emailed photoshop files back and forth for the colors. This was especially nerve-wracking, because so much of how color appears depends on lighting, which I couldn't control.


Meanwhile in Shanghai, UAP was laser cutting the aluminum components for each part and printing them with an exact, high resolution scan of my original ink brushstroke.


Some of the fine folks I never had the chance to meet, who made my sculpture. Thank you!


UAP hung all of the pieces at their correct angles (but not heights, for obvious reasons) for the client to see. You can really get a sense of how big BRUSHSTROKE is here.


Wrapped and ready to go to Zhongshan!


In all this time, the only physical thing I touched was one finish sample! I hope one day I can see BRUSHSTROKE in person...ONE DAY SOON...

Thank you so much to all of the people who made this sculpture a reality: the Huafa Corporation, UAP Shanghai, and no doubt many others. I'm so grateful and amazed we could pull this off during a global pandemic without ever meeting in person.