Whiting Tennis: Studio VisitSaturday, December 12th, 2009
I visited Whiting Tennis and his studio on Sat Nov 21st, 2009. He has a wonderful home in the Ballard/Crown Hill area of Seattle. His decor is sparse and kitsch and the wood paneling suits it all. Just going through the foyer, the kitchen and then into the studio there seemed to be orbits of wonder circling Whiting Tennis’s space. While his home is active with wonderful items to look at, the studio is stunningly filled with drawings, objects, sculptures, old signs and crazed bits of wood. Whiting showed me several parts of projects and I became mesmerized at his focus and ability to translate his doodles into 3-dimensional visions. We talked about art making and art viewing and how sometimes when you see work that is really good, that touches you inside and sticks, you just have to go back to your studio and create. Seeing a Philip Guston exhibit in New York at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, he couldn’t make it through the entire show the first time because he was compelled to return to his studio and work. Eventually he did return to see the show in its entirety. In a way that’s how I feel about Whiting’s work. He reminds me of the wonders of using your hands in art, of actually making stuff and getting dirty. Being an on again off again musician too, I have to admit his music does something similar for me. I saw him play this past Thursday night at Vermillion, and was reminded of the same thing. Whether it’s his visual art or music, Whiting’s work inspires me to get in my studio or pick up my guitar and play. As I was leaving I noted the photo of Laura Palmer on the mantel; all the more revelatory upon the interesting planet of Whiting Tennis.
Whiting Tennis shows work with Greg Kucera Gallery in Seattle and Derek Eller in New York.
to see more studio images, check the side bar on the right.