STATEMENT OF CREATIVE INTENT
What is fundamental to me about sculpture is its need to use or manipulate space without just simply occupying it. My work therefore explores a space that blends elements of high design with conceptual art. I present my viewers with works that I call “sensitive sculpture” which is physically challenging yet objectively familiar with paired down abstractions of forms found within everyday living and consumer culture. In this "uncanny valley" we can explore the subtleties of life in a way where the walls have been torn down; art and life are intertwined. There is not a direct function in this work, but an implied element of functionality and interaction. The work confirms the will of the audience within the space; it can direct the audience in subtle ways which may or may not be noticed but are directly tied to how each individual experiences life in an object-culture. My work is meant to force the observer into coming to new conclusions about the similarities between art and the things they interact with daily by subversive means.
My responsibility as an artist making objects is driven by a moral objection to mass consumerism and fashions “feedback loop”. In the early stages of minimalism both in the arts and design, the intention was to strip away the unnecessary in search of the objectively essential. In the gestation of minimalist design, Adolf Loos is quoted speaking (In Ornament and Crime) against art nouveau:
“The changing fashion in ornament results in a premature devaluation of the product of the worker's labor; his time and the materials used are wasted capital. I have formulated the following principle: The form of an object should last, that is, we should find it tolerable as long as the object itself lasts. I will explain: A suit will change its style more often than a valuable fur. A woman's ball outfit, intended for one night alone, will change its style more quickly than a desk. Woe betide us, however, if we have to change a desk as quickly as a ball outfit because we can no longer stand the old style. Then we will have wasted the money we paid for the desk.”
There is a certain irony retrospectively to Adolf Loos' inspiration towards anti decoration, and it is to me telling that his bottom line is money. In contemporary design, the desire to create flawless, lasting objects and use functional materials has been cloven by the business need to spare all expenses for bottom line profit. New objects are designed to be hip and flashy but lack functional integrity. The skill of the craftsman has never been in higher demand, because not only should they produce work quickly, they must make the cheapest materials money can buy appear to be flashy, but only on its surface.
On an experiential level, if I choose to surround myself with objects that are designed to give instant gratification then what does that say about the role of objects and my daily interactions with them? An object that is designed to sell is useless by design after it has been purchased. In 2014 I interviewed Don Pilcher about his work, Rascal Ware. One of his guiding stars throughout that project was the desire to present new ways to think about and celebrate life. That all said, I do not think that we can avoid living with objects that are lacking longevity and robustness of life. My work is exploring a space that finds harmony despite the upsets of fast paced capitalism and instant gratification.