This was among my first sculptures to survive my own criticism. Like much of my art, it seeks to find harmony between two disparate natures: the nature of mass and the nature of flight. The weight of the sculpture itself, and the chunk of the lower portion gives way to wing-like shapes. As I look at the sculpture, there is no question in my mind that it was heavily influenced by my time working with Richard Hunt. While Hunt’s obsession with wings and asymmetry are obvious; the expression in wood, with texture, tone and the sense of movement presented by the dye give a first sense of how my voice presents free-form in three dimensions.
Blinded by Science was the piece that really moved me into trying to communicate “the feeling of an idea.” Often when I’m painting, it just starts out as color and form. Then one piece will take the lead in unveiling what the lot is all about. This particular piece moved ahead way faster than its peers, and the title came to me shortly before completion. So apparently, this is what it feels like to be “blinded by science.”
This sculpture developed as a truly open sense of play. I had these old garden spikes laying around from the previous homeowner. It was around Christmas and I had heard “Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies” just before working in the studio. I saw these huge spikes laying on my workbench, and I thought to myself, “What would it look like if these big spikes were all dancing around to Tchaikovsky?” Now we all know the answer...at least for one moment frozen in time.
Psychologists talk about “defense mechanisms” in regards to the way we protect ourselves, our feelings, and our vulnerabilities. While our responses to protecting ourselves may take a myriad of different forms; I believe the feeling of needing to protect ourselves is universal. This sculpture attempts to search for that core feeling of needing to protect ourselves. The sculpture itself is heavily influenced by the spiritual recognition that what we are usually protecting is nothing at all as the major shape wraps around a hollow space.
Among the major themes that I express through painting is “Dream States.” This painting attempts to present various facets of engineering: mathematics and machine parts, in a fanciful way with dream-like overtones. It is one of my very early paintings on panel, and I’ve always enjoyed it. As an early effort towards presenting the dream-state with hazy effects and colors mixing in situ; it really captured the effect I was looking for!
Moment of Inspiration (Blue) & Nature of Choice (Red)
These works were early experiments in conveying simple ideas in shape and color. While they are still abstract and seek to supply a perspective of “How that idea feels,” I say to myself, “What does the moment of inspiration feel like?” “What does the nature of choice feel like?” Then I just sort of let it do it’s thing: mixing paints, laying out basic shapes and blocking out space. I start to see something in the work. I get a flash or a picture in my head of what it is becoming. Then I step back and consider, evaluate, detail. Then I sign it, and I pray that it provides some value and adds lasting meaning to my existence on this plane.
Sometimes I finish a painting, and I look at it and I say, “what the f*#% is that?!” Then after a deep breath, I might look again and say, “I really like it, though.” This is one of those paintings. Makes me imagine a flower on some alien world. Anything can happen in the art studio.
This sculpture was born from a time of great betrayal in my life. Something inside me at the time remembered the fate of Julius Caesar, and I thought of the nature of humanity, the emotions that come from controversy, and how people respond. I worked through each of the characters...considering the feelings in response. What are they saying, thinking, feeling in this moment. What is the place of the individual and the collective. Pushing others to do a horrible thing, resistance of conscience. Each character has something happening that is part of a greater set of truths about how we are as humans.