This piece is both portrait and admission.
It comes from the same place as a series of pieces I began years ago. Yours, Mine & Ours, was my attempt to visually describe the unique personalities that make up my family. My wife is the smooth, folded bath towel to my rumpled heap of terry cloth. Another piece, Shed, focused on the business casual work attire donned by my wife on a daily basis.
This recent piece goes much farther in being honest about a fairly large aspect of our lives: work. The smooth, satin, carefully folded material on the slacks-specific clothes hanger are in stark contrast to my rough and rumpled work pants which, when not in use, are usually found slung on a hook in a locker with the work belt still in the belt loops. This pretty well describes our unique work situations.
The fact that my wife’s stable career has allowed me to develop in a much less structured way as an independent artist is pretty much constantly on my mind. While I have been extremely fortunate, having received a degree of critical acclaim and financial success that I never would have expected, none of these achievements have represented anything that approaching riches. I grew up in a household where my father was the primary “bread winner” and my mother took care of most everything else.
I must admit that I feel shame and a sense of personal failure that I have not even come close to reaching the point where I could say to my wife: “Hey, I’ve got this. You don’t need to work to support this family.” She wouldn’t want to stop working if she could; she loves what she does, however, I would like to be able to give her that option. At present, I cannot do that. While we might earn approximately the same number of dollars per year– hers come on a consistent basis and with health insurance and other benefits that my sporadic, commission-based, freelance, sub-contractor income completely lacks.
Like the stone itself, relationships can be hard, and require a lot of work. They are both enduring and fragile at the same time. And they are worth the effort. Individuals are often dissimilar, though they work.
Jokes and comments are often made regarding who wears the pants in a given relationship. Many people have a this idea that being a stone carver is a very “macho” endeavor, but from my perspective, not really. First off, there are fair few extremely successful female stone sculptors out there. Secondly, there isn’t anything much more traditionally masculine than being able to fully financially support one’s own family . . . So, I can’t really agree with the stereotype. I’m not being overly modest. I love the tradition and physicality of the work I do, and I think that I can make some neat stuff. I am a handy and all. However, if one was going to ask who wears the pants in our family– well, it certainly wouldn’t be me alone.
In our case, I’d say that I have received far more of the benefit from our work together than she. Her stability, organization, reliability, and care have allowed me to have a much more chaotic, irresponsible and unstable career path than the average person. I’m the dirty laundry. I’m very thankful to have been able to hang my rumpled, coarseness next to her smooth, silkiness for many years now, and hopefully for many more.
So I have been very fortunate with press over the years. I honestly never thought that my name would end up in any publications…
But least of all FORBES— linked to this website..!
…and a few other big names have been getting in on the art and fabrication action. Thanks, Alan & Martha!
In other news… I’m pretty pumped to have been invited to be part of the The #Balvenie Rare Craft Collection. Over the next 3 months, along with 4 other incredible artisans selected by Anthony Bourdain, we will be headed to NYC, Houston & Chicago to show some of our work and demonstrate how we do it. So if you like nice things and maybe want to swing a hammer and chisel yourself (and you’re over 21) maybe come check out the show. First stop– NYC!
Here’s lowdown from their website: https://us.thebalvenie.com/collection:
The Balvenie 2015 Rare Craft Collection
Rough Stone to Living Marble
The video documentary, produced by curator Jenny Carson, that is currently on view in the Walters Art Museum show, Rinehart’s Studio: Rough Stone to Living Marble, can be seen here by clicking this link or the image above. The short film about the process of creating stone sculptures and the relationship between the “sculptor” and the “carver” focuses on Rineharts works, a stone sculpture fabrication shop in Italy, and my own studio here in Baltimore at Hilgartner Natural Stone. If you’ve got 5 mins– check it out! Better yet–go see the show!
Rough Stone to Living Marble
Written by: Jenny Carson
Cinematography: Tarek Turkey
Narrator: Dillin Olshonsky
It’s true. After almost 40 years at their current location, Hilgartner Natural Stone Company, Inc is moving… again.
Hilgartner’s Baltimore City shop (which has been home to my studio since I earned my MFA from MICA’s Rinehart School of Sculpture in 2008) has moved a number of times since their founding in 1863, always due to the expansion of the railroad system. Stone shops prior to the modern era needing to be adjacent to the railways that provided their material and delivered their work. This current move is a bit more about development, property values and a new neighbor (who will remain namesless) that showed up rolling deep in card tables and slot machines . . .
I and all of my considerable baggage will be going with them to our new location, still in beautiful Charm City, at:
That’s between Westport and Carroll Park in South Baltimore, for those of you familiar with the City– the Washington Blvd Exit (#51) off 95, for those of you that aren’t.
While I will miss the frenetic energy of Cross Street in Federal Hill– with it’s Ravens & Orioles fans flooding the area on game day, and it’s charming-drunken-post-collegiate-frat-boy atmosphere that begins on Friday and lingers through Monday morning . . . I and the rest of the Hilgartner team are looking forward to the vastly improved shop, offices, showroom, gallery, and STUDIO that our new home will provide!
Many thanks to those who recently have seen fit to help document my soon-to-be-former studio space through their writers, photographers & videographers: Jenny Carson and the Walters Art Museum, The Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Baltimore Sun, HOME & DESIGN Magazine, The Baltimore Business Journal, and BmoreArt.
The original part of the “new” shop was a WWII era foundry, so a far bit of renovation has been undertaken and still continues–but don’t worry–we are ready to roll and will be fully operational in no time.
So please excuse the current hiccup in our work schedule. We will all be back to rocking out and making heaps of dust in no time!
May 18, 2015
Living Marble: A Contemporary- Historical Collaboration at the Walters, BmoreArt
The Walters Art Museum is widely known as a house of rare objects of antiquity, but not a place for contemporary art . . .read more.
It’s my great surprise and honor to be sharing ink in Sunday The Baltimore Sun News Paper this morning with, not only #Rinehart & Oprah Winfrey, but fellow Baltimore-boy, Mike Rowe !!! #rad
You can check out the article, Carving Out a Legacy, about the Walters Art Museum show online too: http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/arts/bs-ae-walters-rinehart-20150411-story.html#page=1
Finally some killer photos by Geoff Graham of the second glove in the series focusing on some of the hand-wear I’ve accumulated. This railroad “engineer” style glove reminds me of the type of gloves my grandfather wore. His family immigrated to the States and worked on the railroads in Upstate NY.
The leather around the fingertips and palm is thick and coarse, while the upper cuff and back of the hand is thinner cotton, to allow for cooling in a hot environment.
Initially I thoughthat I would focus on the actual colored striped patter on the cotton, however I decided that (as ever) texture trumps color–and so I decided to try to illustrate the fine herring bone texture of the material. It was pretty painstaking, but I’m glad I went for it. It was certainly easier work than shoveling coal…