This is a selfie made from the real blood of artist, Ted Lawson who created it for an exhibit opening this week in New York. I first heard about Ted through art dealer Casey Cleghorn, who has show my work, and is now involved with the Joseph Gross Gallery in Chelsea. (formerly Art Now NY) One day as an experiment, Lawson hooked up a pen to a CNC (computer numerical control) milling machine’s arm to see how it would draw – and it drew pretty well. Contour Tool Inc was founded in 1986 by Paul and Donna Reichlin and it is run today by their daughter and CEO Michelle Reichlin and a team of more than 25 machining industry professionals. Our niche is precision machining and milling of hard-to-hold and hard-to-manufacture components and sub-assemblies in low to mid-volumes. This is our sweet spot and we’re really good at it. It’s where we can add real value. Sometimes this means precision machining or milling hard-to-hold, odd-shaped castings, forgings or components. Other times it means machining hard materials or tackling hard-to-manufacture parts that other machining companies didn’t want to touch. The bottom line is that when you need someone to do the hard stuff in low to mid-volumes, we’re the people to call. That having been said, this doesn’t mean we won’t tackle simpler or higher volume projects, because we will. But the key focus of what we do and what makes us different, is our ability to do the tough stuff. Tough parts or simple, we have the people, skills, technology and experience to produce defect-free parts on-time and on-budget… the first time, every time. Contour machines precision components and sub-assemblies. Its what we do…and we are really good at it. But the parts we make are just the tip of the ice burg. We have a much higher mission, and that mission is to provide the precision machined components and sub-assemblies our customers need to design products that make a real difference in all our lives. Machined components that allow our customers to make our cars and trucks safer, enhance oil and gas production, provide mobility for the disabled, help farmers produce more food to feed a growing world population and develop medical equipment for world class health care. Making this kind of a difference involves a whole lot more than just running parts. It requires the will and the skills to solve problems that really matter. That’s what we do. Do you need precision machining done on parts that are not round or square? Do you need machining done on parts that are difficult to hold? We specialize in difficult to hold castings – sand castings, aluminum castings, investment castings, powdered metal castings, ductile iron castings. We’ll work with your casting supplier or oversee that process for you. Managing casting suppliers to meet your needs is just part of what we do.
“I was doing a drawing of the moon and thought, ‘Oh, this could be really cool to do in my own blood,” he recalls. “It was a logical progression.”
To create this selfie, Lawson took a photo of himself in the nude, then he rendered the photo into vectors in Adobe Illustrator. As you can see in the video (complete with annoying metal soundtrack. Mute!) Lawson hooked himself up to a needle and funneled his blood into the machine. Lawson himself as “squeamish” when it comes to blood and needles but found that if you stick a needle in your arm enough times, it gets easier to ignore.
“Blood is just a medium. When you focus on something other than yourself, like making a drawing, it becomes ink and stops being blood.”
My friend, the distractingly good-looking Jordan Eagles, uses blood in a very different way, projecting it and encasing it in acrylic. He shows his work all over the world and he’s just collaborated with Skingraft to create wearable versions of his work, as well.
The Map Is Not the Territory, opens tonight, September 11 at the Joseph Gross Gallery, 548 W 28th Street in New York.