Hello. My name is Derrick Cruz and I'm an independent designer and artist in New York City. Through Kickstarter I'm seeking your help to create a sculptural tribute to Ian Curtis, singer and lyricist of Joy Division.
This is the second figure in what I hope will become a pantheon of musical muses. The first piece in the series was Half a Person: A Morrissey Effigy. With enough support I'll not only be able to complete the castings of Ian Curtis, but also begin work on the next piece in the series, a leathery and smokey Serge Gainsbourg.
Digital 18:05:80 is a naturalistic and minimalist hand-built sculpture honoring the modesty, vulnerability and power of Curtis' work. It portrays his face entranced and seamlessly emerging from a 9.70" x 6" x 1.75" solid cold-cast porcelain block in the proportions of the golden mean. It is an angular and weighty object (4.5lbs) meant to stand upright.
With your help, I'll be able to complete the casting and packaging for multiples. Your contribution will go directly towards buying the costly resin, porcelain and aluminum for casting. It will also help pay for the materials and equipment needed to make the packaging, T-shirt and letterpress rewards. If it all goes well I'll also be able to pay my studio-mate Crispy for her time and begin work on the third piece in the series, Serge Gainsbourg.
I've already paid the sculptor, made two molds, printed a T-shirt, and bought the plates and paper for the letterpress card samples. The final step is having the funds to finish the piece in the beautiful matte white porcelain look I imagined and then sharing it with you. Once funded, Crispy and I will cast, trim, cut and build everything by hand here in my studio.
BUSES, MALLS, & INTERCOMS or HOW I FOUND JOY DIVISION
I've been a Joy Division fan for most of my life. It's difficult to put into words what they triggered in me, which is why I make art rather than write, but I'll try.
You see, I grew up in a little coastal town in 80's Puerto Rico. We had one record store, and if you didn't like Salsa music all you were going to get were some top 40 and 70's arena rock LPs. My salvation: school soccer trips to San Juan which included a stop at the mall food court. The moment our bus stopped I jetted directly to the Sbarro for a slice, chugged an Orange Julius and made an unsanctioned break for the mall record shop. Once there, I'd dig and flip until I heard my name over the intercom. All I wanted was something to speak to me, something to expand the small world that never fully satisfied me.
On one of those trips, after Belinda Carlisle…Debbie Gibson…Whitney Houston, I slowly pulled out a heavy white record simply printed "NEW ORDER Substance 1987". I remember thinking, "I don't know what this is, but I'll take one!" I wore it out in about a week. I'd honestly never heard anything like it before. It appealed to everything I desired: introspection, sharp beats and riffs, and a sober irony. That next trip to the mall I skipped the racks and went directly to the shop counter. With their five-pounder text-only catalog balance in hand I pointed to a page and said , "I'd like to order Brotherhood by New Order." To which the store clerk replied, "Have you heard the band they were before?" Enter Unknown Pleasures.
I’ll confess, at first it was difficult to comprehend, if not listen to. The cover art was an easy sell, but the the music was heavy. I felt reluctantly launched into a septic and industrial future where every emotion was being openly narrated. This "other singer" made me uncomfortable. His commands were aggressive, not vague and playful like what I thought I heard in New Order. This music marched with a buildup to an explosion that was never going to happen. It felt, for lack of a better word, very real. So, with my khaki green 80's Koss headphones on, I habitually laid on my cold bedroom floor to listen, as if forced, until I became disoriented into a kind of self-analyzing trance. This upgrade in emotional and poetic maturity mixed with sound abstraction and agression was becoming more than entertainment to me. And sometimes I'd think, "who needs this feeling?" But I couldn't stop listening.
I'm still listening. Joy Division changed what I expected from music and even art. And judging from the staying power of their small catalog, the droves of bands influenced by their sound, and the visual impact of Peter Saville's design work, perhaps you've felt something similar. Personally, I think Ian Curtis' lyrics and the musical collision-course they came in helped me to grapple with some necessarily dark and basic human emotions. It's a violent sincerity that I still find useful. With DIGITAL 18:05:80 I'd like to pay tribute to that sentiment.
REWARDS (other than the sculpture)
LETTER-PRESS CARDS: I wanted the rewards to be handcrafted and match the minimalist concept, so I designed a set of 5x5 folded note cards letter-pressed with some of the more memorable lines from the Joy Division song Digital. The printing technique I'll use is a "blind impression". That means the words will be pressed into the paper deep enough to read and feel on the surface, but without ink. The paper will be a nice thick 100% acid free cotton rag. Your choice of black flat cards with black envelopes or white folded cards with grey envelopes.
MOZ HEAD RELIEF: This is taken from the Morrissey Half a Person bust we did with Sean, the sculptor, in 2011.These will only be available here. It's about 11cm long. Its kinda awesome. We wore one as a broach around the studio, but it could be mounted for display.
T-SHIRT: I also designed a T-shirt in charcoal grey with the lyric "DAY IN, DAY OUT" printed in white on the chest. Small, medium, and large will be available.
I'm an artist and designer, it’s what I do for a living, but I'm not great at human likenesses. So, to create this piece, I worked with sculptor Sean Burford who made a bust of Morrissey for me in 2011. I designed and art directed Digital 18:05:80 and Sean did the sculpting. Then when I have it in hand I make modifications. Curtis was, as some have said, "a plain bloke," so I knew sculpting a likeness wasn't going to be easy, but Sean did an amazing job.
UPDATES & PROGRESS
It's 90% done. You'll see lots of updates here, so please stay tuned. If you've pledged I'll be sure to update you first.
I studied painting,been a professional graphic designer, musician, accessories designer and teacher. My main obsession is making heartfelt ideas become physical things. I make my works in my New York City studio. I'm apt to use metals, resins, leather, dirt and whatever else I can get my hands on to make it happen. Most notably I'm the designer of Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons and founder/creative director of Occulter, a small consortium of artists here in the city. I also teach at Parsons.
Well, I really like the idea of working outside the system. I've had my fair share of playing by the rules and moping about because of it, but that's enough of that. A year ago we tried going about the Morrissey bust in a traditional manner and I think we alienated true fans. I don't want to do that again. Kickstarter has revived my hope in "the people." That's you and me and everyone else that loves beauty and an honest effort. I believe the success of this project is best left directly in the hands of those who've been touched by Ian's music. With your help, this will turn into an opportunity to share my work and passion with a much greater audience, and perhaps entirely change the way I work. I'd love for that to happen.
Thank you for your time and support. Can't wait to get started!
Risks and challenges
The main risks have all been taken already seeing the piece is sculpted, molded and paid for. The remaining challenges concern production for a successful campaign.
Should things go overwhelmingly well, to the point that Crispy and I can't produce all of the required pieces in-house, I already have: our friendly neighborhood letterpress shop, Coer Noir, on stand-by for the cards; a local printer for the shirts; an assembly facility for the boxes; and several volunteers to help cast, package and ship sculptures.
We already have a system for shipping in place, so that shouldn't be a problem. We're also used to doing production for complex piece, so all in all, I believe we'll be able to handle this just fine.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)