New Guest Blogger: Rachel Mason

Rachel Mason

Thanks to Chris Cuellar for his wise, witty, and highly informative series of “How To” guides to art-making on the Internet and off. We’re also grateful to Chris’ contributor-collaborators Mark BeasleyNick BrizAMJ CrawfordJake ElliottEric FleischauerAlan & Michael FlemingJesse McLeanJonathan VingianoAndrew Norman Wilson, and Bob Hotdog for their willingness to go anon for this series, and for joining Chris in sharing their expertise with Art21 Blog’s readers!

Next up is Rachel Mason, a New York-based sculptor and musician. Rachel’s work in nursing homes inspired Code Flight: A Musical Tale of Dementia and Love, a rock opera she wrote and performed at Dumbo Art Center in March of 2011. A related full-length album was also released in 2011. In 2012, Rachel will release two albums on Shatter Your Leaves Records: Woman With A Suitcase (whose album cover is an original work by John Baldessari) with Little Band of Sailors, and The Lives of Hamilton Fish, a surreal murder mystery/rock opera produced by Stu Watson and based on true events occurring during the Great Depression in New York.

In addition to her performance work, Mason is known for a sculpture of herself kissing the President of the United States, as well as a project in which she wrote two albums of songs and sculpted her life through a timeline of miniature portrait busts of warring heads of states. She has also scaled an eight-story building for an ongoing series of performances as an alien superhero dressed in white, which began while she was an undergraduate at UCLA.

Rachel’s work has been shown at the Detroit Museum of Contemporary Art; the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle; the James Gallery at CUNY; the University Art Museum in Buffalo; the Sculpture Center in New York; Andrew Rafacz Gallery; Marginal Utility Gallery; The Hessel Museum of Art at CCS Bard and at Occidental College. She has performed at venues that include the Kunsthalle Zurich; the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit; The New Museum; Park Avenue Armory; Club Tonic; Art in General; La Mama; Galapagos; Dixon Place; and Empac Center for Performance in Troy. She has written and recorded hundreds of original songs and performs large scale experimental plays involving dancers, musicians and other artists with her band and theater troupe Little Band of Sailors. Rachel has been featured in publications that include the New York Times; the Village Voice; the Los Angeles Times; Flash Art; Art in America; Art News; and Artforum.

For more information, read an interview with Rachel Mason on Art21 Blog here, and Rachel’s 500 Words for Artforum here.