The castle's grand ballroom is used for celebrations, dances, formal dinners, and the occasional art show. Above the well-worn parquet floors and mahogany wainscoting hangs a magnificent chandelier. The current show is "Selected Cousins and Braintrusts (Castle Version)" by Tom Bubul.

You can use the arrows on the left and right the screen to navigate, or scroll around with a trackpad. Click on the paintings to zoom in.

This door leads back to the main stairwell.

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Tom Bubul

Selected Cousins & Braintrusts (Castle Versions)

Cousins began in 2016 as a series of line-driven, unplanned crowd drawings on pre-determined grids. The idea at that time was to make drawing fun again by removing composition and decision-making as much as possible from the active drawing process, instead applying a narrow, linear, micro-improvisational approach to rendering that could produce ordered results that are sufficiently surprising and satisfying individually, and sufficiently open-ended in their possibilities as a series. The Cousins were all made by choosing grid settings and letting the hand print the results.

Braintrusts are a series of simple ribbon drawings made by plugging and unplugging single-closed-line drawings and rendering them out. Like the Cousins, their results aren't pre-meditated. Unlike the Cousins, their production includes a degree of active problem-solving and decision-making beyond the initial setup.

I'm presenting selections from these two collections to contrast their results and limits as drawing systems and to give two different views into "my line." To help make the connection between these drawings and my broader visual work explicit, I'm also including formatted photos of a couple paintings that incorporate similar tactics.

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I've been drawing and trying to publish the Cousins for five years. As a collection, they took on a Fitzcarraldo aspect when I decided that the best way to prepare them for release in a small-run self-published drawing zine would be to digitally color them... a seemingly-minor production idea that ballooned into a gigantic side-project. In 2018, I went so far as to paint a portrait of myself coloring Cousins on the computer at President Street, "Still working on my zine." The Cousins I selected here represent the most successful results of that multi-year coloring project, which I then finished for this show over the last two months.

In addition to additional coloring, that finishing also included some decisions around leveraging the possibilities of their final form being "files displayed on a webpage in the browser." Here I thought the best way to do that would be to show the Cousins side by side as animated gifs, and to place the Braintrust gifs in front of those for a "wall pieces/floor pieces" / "modules/patch cables" dynamic. The intention is for these images to invite exploration and closer viewing than a typical image gallery on a webpage or set of posts on a social platform would.

Finally, I'll add that I'd love to show the full collection of the original Cousins drawings in an irl room, to contrast the opportunities and limits of the original images with the castle versions. Anyone interested in facilitating this is invited to get in touch.

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Huge thanks to Jacob for the invitation to do all this and the installation support necessary to make it happen. Shouts out to all friends, teachers, and influences, especially Shea'la Finch, Mike Stoltz, Alee Peoples, Bela Shayevich, Bryan Daly, and Julia Sisson for supporting or helping germinate these drawings in some way. Hopefully see everyone soon. :)

- Tom Bubul, 4/8/2021
tombubul.info

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