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The Million-Petaled Flower of Being Here | Howard el-Yasin

The Million-Petaled Flower of Being Here is a writing project by author/artist Jacquelyn Gleisner, who will interview a range of artists from different backgrounds and ages to present a nuanced picture of how artists change over the span of their careers. This project is one of our Older but Younger Special Commissions.

“Stacked on a bookshelf inside Howard el-Yasin’s Westville studio, around a dozen white cardboard boxes are labeled “banana peels.” On top of a nearby table, el-Yasin holds up something shriveled—another banana peel, once yellow and fresh, now desiccated. This peel, like those stored in the boxes, was baked in el-Yasin’s oven for close to an hour. This process gives the skin a leathery texture bringing a slight sheen to the charcoal black surface. Across the studio pinned to the wall, a small plastic bag contains a handful of gray dryer lint— “a material with integrity,” he said. For decades, el-Yasin has been collecting these types of materials—things most people would throw away—and incorporating them into his work as a visual artist.” Continue Reading on Connecticut Art Review

Artspace will print excerpts from these interviews in a section of the printed City-Wide Open Studios guide, and the full interviews will be available on Gleisner’s online art blog, Connecticut Art Review.