Visual art looks the way it does not only because of the physical qualities and behaviors of the materials used to create it, but also because of the concepts and theories the artist considers before and during its construction. The social, political, and personal issues occurring during a specific time period are inextricably linked to the artwork produced during that period. An artwork captures a specific moment in time. It separates that moment out of the chronological continuum and encourages close scrutiny. It is a catalyst for a process that once begun changes forever our perception of that moment.
As far back as I can remember, I have been making art. Our home was filled with art and many of my parents’ friends were artists. When I was young I would go to my mom and whine with boredom and she would say, “Why don’t you make art?” I would ask, “Like what?” She would then suggest a wide variety of activities; everything from painting to cooking, but most of the time it was something like potato prints, paper mache, tie-dye, or photography. Or I would go down to the basement and find something to “fix”. Usually this meant I’d take something apart to see if I could learn how it worked. Today, I’m still taking things apart and putting them back together to learn how they work. The difference is that now I’m taking apart concepts as well as material objects. I take apart the concept of the ceramic vessel, sculpture, and painting, to learn how they work.
When I choose a subject for visual exploration, my purpose is not to faithfully reproduce it in two or three dimensions. Doing so tends to close off the viewers’ ability to contemplate the feelings that the object provokes. I’m using a particular object as a starting point, a somewhat recognizable reference point from which I can communicate the emotions that the object produces in me.
All artists dedicate their energy; intellect and spirit to better understand the world we live in. Each day I take my place alongside my fellow artisans and work with certainty and trust in the artistic process. The painter Chuck CIose said, “Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself.”