WLIW Arts Beat


WLIW Arts Beat - November 4, 2019

In this edition of WLIW Arts Beat, an artist uses everyday kitchen utensils to create sculptures; an engineer discovers his true passion for dance; a watercolor artist shares her inspiration; and math becomes art.

AIRED: February 04, 2020 | 0:26:45



>> In this edition of

"WLIW Arts Beat"...

An artist who can't be


>> I can either just lay down

and give up, or I can just keep

moving, and I've decided that I

want to keep moving.


>> An engineer's approach to


>> I just start wondering,

"Who decide what looks good?"

Maybe each person have their own

movement in their bodies.

>> The inner soul of a


>> And I pay more attention to

the inner dialogue and the

dialogue between myself and the



>> And using math to create


>> They'll ask me, like, "How do

you do that, because it makes

your eyes so crazy?"


>> It's all ahead on this

edition of "WLIW Arts Beat."

Funding for "WLIW Arts Beat" was

made possible by viewers like


Thank you.


Welcome to "WLIW Arts Beat."

I'm Diane Masciale.

First up, we meet artist

Gary Hovey, who uses household

items to create unique animal


Hovey's unexpected creations are

a labor of love for both him and

his wife.

Here's the story.

>> I have art in my background

but not like college

or anything like that.

When I was younger, I was

into doing claywork,

and then when we moved to Tulsa,

Oklahoma, I went and saw a job

that said "Fine Arts Foundry."

I did that for several years,

and I was in charge of

the metal shop in the foundry,

so I learned how to weld there.

First, I saw John Kearney's

work, where he took bumper ends

and welded them together and

made animals that were large.

We saw his work in

Wichita, Kansas, 35 years ago.

I was a teenager at the time,

and I didn't know how to weld.

I thought it was a great idea.

But then I forgot about it, and

one day I thought of it again.

I told my wife, "I'm gonna buy

some flatware and try that idea

that I had 30 years ago."

She said, "Yes."

So, I went and did it, and

I made a dog.

>> The first one he did

was quite good.

It's a little running dog.

He said

he ran like a freight train.

He really had a knack right

from the beginning for capturing

the character of an animal.




See you later.

>> Okay.

I have an early-onset

Parkinson's disease.

And I just had a little

twitchy finger and went in,

tried to figure out what was

going on with me, and they came

out with, "You have


So, I've dealt with this for

21 years.

It really is kind of a problem

because I can't move fast.

I'm a freezer.

I'm not a shaker, really.

I can't move once I freeze,

and so then I either lay down

or just quit doing

whatever I'm trying for a while,

and then I go back to it.

So, I get in, like, four hours

to six hours on a good day

of work.

I can either just lay down

and give up,

or I can just keep moving.

And I've decided that I'm going

to keep moving.

>> For Gary, physically, dealing

with Parkinson's disease

is a big deal.

There have been several times

when it's just come to be

like, "Maybe this is it.

Maybe I'm gonna have to quit."

He would just be at a really

low point, and then we'll manage

to work through it.

>> I got to tell you, my wife

is just the greatest.

She critiques my work,

supports my work.

She drives me everywhere

I need to go.

And she takes care of my

Internet stuff.

She communicates with people.

She is my banker.

She's everything, and so

I couldn't do it without her.

I really couldn't.

>> It's just there are

some things that Gary doesn't

find easy to do anymore.

I encourage him a lot,

because there's times

when he just feels like things

aren't going as well as he'd

like, and he doesn't see

the point anymore.

Whatever he needs, and

I try to be in tune to that and

help him with it.

He says it's not done until

I give it my final approval.

>> Make sure they're all stiff

on there, too.

The first place I'll start is,

like, on a heron, for instance,

he comes off a base.

I'll make that first leg

straight and work

on making everything centered.

I try to make the piece

from the head down.

If I make a head I like,

then I'll finish the piece.

I put the forks and spoons

on top of this cage I've built

in the body shape.

I limit myself to forks,

knives, and spoons.

I could do it with other pieces

of metal, but I don't.

It adds a uniqueness to it.

And so I do have to use new

flatware sometimes,

but it is less than 2%.

Everything else is used


I try to keep it eco-friendly

that way.

I'll see an animal on TV

or in a magazine, and I'll go,

"Wow, that's a cool animal.

I think I'll try to build one

of those."

Or I'll I see in my mind

what flatware to use for an


I try to get the animal to look

like what I think the animal

will look like.

I also try to put what I call

"attitude" into my pieces.

I did a family of gorillas.

I tried to make so the baby

looked like he's having fun.

You look at the heron,

and he looks like he's going

to do something to you

because you're bothering him.

It's just the cock of the head

a little bit.

>> I think people are drawn

to Gary's work

because it's not expected.

They can't really

figure out how he did it.

How did he get a face out of

forks, knives, and spoons?

And they start looking at the

individual pieces that are in it

and maybe they see

grandma's pattern in it or it's

a pattern that they have.

And they start enjoying just

looking at the textures and

the way they work together.

>> I'm kind of in the condition

that I am still able to produce

stuff, and I enjoy that respect.

Even though I've got

Parkinson's disease, I haven't

given up, and I'm not gonna give

up till, you know...

till I have to, you know?

I'll keep doing this.

As long as they keep selling,

I'll keep making them.

As long as people keep

thinking I have nice artwork,

then I'll keep at it.


>> To see more, check out




Up next, a passion for dance

brings an engineer back

to his roots to explore

a contemporary art form.

We go along

on his artistic journey.



>> There is no good

or bad or right

or wrong way of experiencing


It's just, just experience.




Enjoy whatever you experience.

Enjoy if it's uncomfortableness.

You can enjoy uncomfortableness,

sadness, or fear.

Our society have so much dogma

about feelings.

Everybody is supposed to be

just happy and joyful

or just not feel anything.


But without feeling and without

noticing what you're feeling

and actually confronting and

dealing with it, it's almost

like not really living.



[ Ding ]

Butoh is Japanese contemporary

performance art form

that started in late '50s.

French surrealism

was coming to Japan.

There was Dadaism, and

all this contemporary art

was coming into Japan.

When Butoh first started,

it was more of an

anti-traditional and

anti-establishment movement.

They were trying to create

a different way of

approaching the body

and approaching movement.

The Butoh in itself doesn't

have its own form or technique,

per se.

Butoh is more of

like aesthetics.

Western dance

resonate with strengths

of human body, and Butoh

actually resonate

with weakness of body.

In the early '60s,

there was a big problem

with mercury poisoning

in Japan.

Mercury poisoning actually

maybe a joint and

body kind of

shrinks and then basically

going to become like this.

And Butoh kind of captured

that kind of a movement.

Butoh performance can be very,

very slow, contorted movement,

twisted facial expressions.

It's almost like people

watching it is just going into

a hypnosis or fall asleep,

whichever comes first.

[ Laughs ]



I was born in a little town

called Rokugo.

When I was 9 years old,

I saw "West Side Story" on TV.

And I decided I want to be a


When I graduate

University of Minnesota, I

start working

for Ragamala Music

and Dance Theater.

Bharatanatyam, the South Indian

classical dance, is very strict.

All the shapes of body,

where the finger is,

the angle, everything have

to be perfect.

I just start wondering,

"Who decide what looks good?"

Maybe each person have their own

movement in their body.

And what's wrong with that?

Subbody Butoh was developed by

my teacher, Rhizome Lee.

"Subbody" means subconscious


I went to study with

Rhizome Lee in 2007.

From 10:00 to 5:00 every day,

five days a week,

all I had to do was dance Butoh.

That's it.

That was amazing.

And when I came back, I just

felt completely disconnected.

So, I had to do something.

So, that's kind of

how I start teaching.

In Subbody Butoh,

we actually go

into our subconscious

and let the movement

come to surface.

So, it's very free.

Like, each Butoh practitioner

has their own way

of approaching Butoh so that

each person's body is different.

Even there is the same

kind of instruction or stimulus,

everybody's movement is




I think when you practice

Subbody Butoh,

you really get in touch

with things inside.

But at the same time, you get in

touch with everything outside.

And you learn

everything is connected.


Everything is resonating.

In physics, as well,

everything is energy.

It's just how the energy

organize or reorganize,

different resonance patterns,

And that's what makes us, us,

what makes light or air

or everything else.


When we are connecting in

the level, our perception about

what we are and what others,

the sense of separation



You actually feel

more compassion.

You feel more connected.








>> If you want to learn more,

head to doushinresonance.com.


And now here's a look at this

month's Fun Fact...



>> Rochester, New York, artist

Andrea Durfee's creations

are inspired

by some of the greatest Greek

goddesses in mythology.

We go inside the studio

to see how the stories

of these ancient characters

manifest themselves

in her watercolor paintings.



>> I grew up loving stories,

loving mythology.

I loved anything that had

strong characters

that could overcome that seemed

to be able to

control their environment

but at the same time have those

very human qualities.

Currently, I've been focusing

on watercolor figures that are

incorporated into landscapes.

They are a lot of references

to Persephone or Athena or


different type of goddesses

that holds close to my heart

from growing up.

I use mythology

and storytelling in a way that

helps me process experiences

and emotions that I go through

in my daily life.

The process of creating, it's

a ritual at this point.

I have a really set flow to how

I do create.

And while I come to the paper

with a set idea,

once that creation process

is under way,

I really kind of go blank.

I let my subconscious take over.

I don't try and force the pain

or interpret too much,

and I pay more attention

to the inner dialogue

and the dialogue between myself

and the painting.



My style of looking

at things, it's fragmented.

What are the fragments?

What are the pieces that make up

the whole?

It's a lot of putting together

and taking apart,

putting together, taking apart.



What are my actions

on this painting?

How is that reflective of the

issue that I'm struggling with?


It's that conversation.

It's, you know, asking questions

like, "Ooh, I really like

how this paint splattered

that way.

Well, why did I like that?

Like, why was it that, you know,

that kind of erraticness, like,

that it just kind of jumped?

Why did I like that?"

So, I'm always asking myself

questions while I'm creating.



I hope that

when someone approaches

my work and looks at it,

I hope that they take a walk

through it.



I hope that they look and kind

of see the little fragments,

you know, what are the pieces

that make up the whole,

and kind of take a journey

through that piece.



>> For more information, visit




You've heard of paint

by numbers.

But how about optical art

through math?

That's what Houston, Texas,

artist Susie Rosmarin

uses to create intricate art

that tricks the eye

into seeing colorful movement.

Take a close look.


>> I mean, that sort

of transcendence I think

is something that we all

are often always looking

for, whether we're finding it

in love or in some sort

of spiritual search.

I happen to look for it in art.

I was living in New York,

and there was a big Monet

retrospective, and I was looking

at the Cathedral of Chartres

series, and they fascinated me

because when you were up close,

they were one thing,

and when you got back,

they were something else

altogether different.

For me, the attempt to reconcile

those two realities

just catapulted me

into this other reality.

And I wanted something like that

in my work.

So, Op art, also known as

optical art,

is a movement that started

in the '60s with early people

like Bridget Riley and

Victor Vasarely,

Richard Anuszkiewicz.

It's about the phenomena,

the nature of perception

and about how the eye

can be fooled.

On this one,

you can see that the edge seems

to push in and out against here,

and it also seems to warp out

and warp and weave this way

coming towards you.

I didn't set out to make Op art.

It's just my work just happened

to be heading

in that direction at a time

when that became an interest of

a lot of other artists, as well.

Okay, so I'm going to do 2632.

So, that starts here.

1990, 1991,

I'd been working with this

number system for a long time.

It's just a very simple number

game with just numbers

1 through 9

and laid out in a 3x3 matrix

like on a telephone

or an adding machine.

And I discovered that if you did

these little diagrams

and then rotated

the little drawing, rotate

that little sketch four times

around that 3x3 matrix,

you'd get this consistent

sum, like 22,220, every single


And that just fascinated me.

And so, I tried every possible

permutation of that.

And, I mean, I'd started

when I was 13.

By then I was like 40,

and I've been doing them as


It took me a long time

to figure out

how to get them on canvas.

One morning in 1990, I

just woke up with the solution.

And the solution was to do

a full-scale drawing

on a piece of Mylar

and then glue it

to the back of a canvas,

shine a light through it,

and that way I could see where

the lines were on the drawing

and I could tape over that

so that I could

reproduce the drawing


That's how they got onto canvas.




Taping itself is actually

a very meditative process.

And I know people look at

my work, the finished product,

especially the ones that are

optically so active.

They'll ask me like,

"How do you do that,

because it makes

your eyes so crazy?"

And it's, like, "No, you know,

when I'm working

there's really only one color

at a time on the surface.

It's actually very meditative.

It's a very relaxing process.

Most painters, when they're

painting, they're constantly

building a new surface,

creating their new surface

as they work.

For someone like me,

I'm constantly covering up

my surface because you lay down

a layer of paint, then you tape

or you want to preserve that

color before you put the next

layer of paint down.

So, for tapers, you're

constantly covering up your

surface, and you don't know what

you've got until you actually

pull off that last bit of tape.

So it's always a little bit of

a surprise.


So, in this painting

in particular, this is about

as minimal as an Op art painting

can get because it's a pale gray

and white.

It's just very simple

progression of shapes.

What it's about for me

is something that's here

and gone and yet forever here,

sort of like the breath,

breathing in and out.

I think that's the whole point.

Whatever it is that makes your

brain tingle and your heart

sudden-- you know, everything,

just everything, your visceral

response, your intellectual

response, the reason to make

art -- that and sex.


It is about that transcended,

that epiphany, that sort of


I mean, that's why we do what

we do, right?


>> To see more, visit



That wraps it up for this

edition of

"WLIW Arts Beat."

We'd like to hear

what you think.

So, like us on Facebook,

join the conversation

on Twitter,

and visit our web page

for features and

to watch episodes of the show.

We hope to see you next time.

I'm Diane Masciale.

Thank you for watching

"WLIW Arts Beat."


Funding for "WLIW Arts Beat"

was made possible by viewers

like you.

Thank you.












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