Bailin Studio

He left a paper trail…
C SERIES • 2011 - 2012
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HALLWAY • 2014 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 62 x 52¾ inches [157 x 134 cm]

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DRIP • 2012 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52 x 54 inches [132 x 137 cm]

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LIGHT • 2012 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52 x 54 inches [132 x 137 cm]

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REMNANTS • 2012 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52 x 54 inches [132 x 137 cm]

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MISSING • 2012 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52 x 54 inches [132 x 137 cm]

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TACKS • 2012 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52 x 54 inches [132 x 137 cm] • Private Collection, LA

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PROW • 2012 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52 x 54 inches [132 x 137 cm]

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LISTENING • 2012 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52 x 54 inches [132 x 137 cm]

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HAMMER • 2012 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52 x 54 inches [132 x 137 cm]

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PLUG • 2012 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52 x 54 inches [132 x 137 cm]

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FLY • 2012 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52 x 54 inches [132 x 137 cm]

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REVISION • 2012 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52 x 54 inches [132 x 137 cm]

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TREASURE • 2011 • Charcoal and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 52½ x 54 inches [133 x 137 cm]

After a number of years wiping out drawings I’ve become adept at erasure. At points there were no real differences between the erasure and the drawing. I spent many hours moving charcoal from one point to another — tracking and tracing ghosts. More charcoal accumulated on my studio floor than on the drawing. In this cubicle seeing traces of my footprints provided significant evidence that some kind of life had taken place.

The cubical and the small office contain many stories. While the technology has changed, the cubicle has not and our movements and interactions within them haven’t either. I spent long hours in each doing work that at the time had importance but remain for me now only as activities— invoicing and reconciling, sorting, filing, trashing. Within those activities whole beings appear — clear, crisp and complete — evidence of our occupation like the charcoal dust left on my studio floor.

This series was inspire by my experience as a part-time, full-charge bookkeeper in New York City circa early 1980s. I handled the books of two small midtown businesses. I would arrive in the morning, get a cup of coffee, settle into my closet office, spread out the accounting book, and sort the receipts and bills. All day I entered numbers into the ledger, reconciled the bank statements, paid the bills, wrote out deposits for the bank, and prepared a summary of the accounts. As a job for an artist it was great. Everything was in past tense and everything balanced to zero. And zero was what I brought into the studio from my day’s work. That is, unless the ledger didn’t balance. Then the gentle dull routine of my day turned into a snarled and agitated scuffle as I poured over the bills, receipts and columns of numbers to find the missing pennies. That was the cubicle - a mindless routine interrupted by the crisis of minutia.