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Budd Dees

born 1984, in Macon, GA, USA, currently based in Gainesville, FL, USA


I am an artist and teacher living in North Central Florida. Sculptural, digital, and occasionally involving text, my work has been featured in exhibitions and screenings around the US and abroad. I received a Masters from University of Florida and have been artist in residence at HomeBase Berlin and Atlantic Center for the Arts. I contribute criticism to BurnAway and Art Papers. In my free time I have fantasies about forgiving Kentucky clerk Kim Davis at a karaoke bar, protecting teenage Kurt Cobain from high school bullies, and staying up all night walking with my favorite poet Eileen Miles.​​

​Description of work created at HB LAB
​Berlin Summer -- 3 Months of Failure
papier-mache and fabric, 2013

Pocahontas -- from America
papier-mache, fringe, and thread, 2013

Three (Man Iron)
still from single-channel video, 2013

Letter Home
I’ve recently been thinking about the number 3 a lot. I have this vague remem- brance that 3 is a very important number for artists. But I can’t remember very much. So I asked a few people and here’s the meager list I compiled:

3 is a prime number
A triangle has 3 sides and 3 angles. It is the most stable shape. There’s a compositional tool known as the rule of thirds.
The Holy Trinity imagines God in 3 different forms.
3 sides make a pyramid. There are 3 big ones in Egypt.

3 planes come together to form a corner. A place for much experimentation in contemporary sculpture. When a body slumps to the floor it should do so in a corner. And if the elbows and head mourn in unison they form a triangle connecting the floor and two walls.

Earth is the 3rd planet from the Sun.
We conceptualize time in 3 states: the past, present, and future.

Presently, I am here in Berlin for 3 months. It is a long time to leave a lover behind. If you both see other men will you be able to come back to each other.

I’ve slept with 3 men since coming to Berlin.

3 creates conflict. More than two sides, options, arguments, harbors real choice. 3 is a fleshed out version of two, giving it a new dimension that makes the card into a brick. 

3 creates democracy.

The opportunity for a tie to be broken by the 3rd vote. Occasionally, 3 changes coincidence into pattern. 3 can make a pair of things into a group, so that each thing becomes part of a collective or each person becomes a member of some club. There is belonging.

3 loses sentimentality and naive romance.

3 is the end of two. It closes two, pushes two out of the spotlight. The 3rd transforms the couple. It may completely disintegrate the couple into singular entities. It may break one or the other off to sulk alone. It may simply become a trio.

But what is certain is the altering of the experience of romance. A couple sees itself, one sees only the other. It is simple and the love is precise. The love has an insular logic. The 3rd disturbs this forever. He forces the two to see an

outsider and opens the possibility for outsiders. The simplicity of the world of the lovers is ruptured. It must argue with the complexities of reality.

So in love, 3 can bring jealousy.

He might think you are too old-fashioned. Too dramatic, melodramatic. Too jealous. He might paint you as a villian in his life. Or he might think of you as tenderly idealistic. Or he might not think much of you at all as he leaves with the 3rd.

A series of 3 films is called trilogy. Common wisdom holds that the best film of a trilogy is the second one.

It is May 2013 and Iron Man 3 has just been released in theaters.