Current methodologies and research interests include using ceramic sculpture and drawing to create visual statements concerning a person’s ability to relate to reality through symbolic abstraction.
My art practice is at it’s core a reaction to the deconstructed heaps of culture left by post modernism and a search for value and virtue. My aim as an artist is to create works which circle around sacred values such as unconditional love, authenticity, imagination and human dignity. For 20 years my work has utilized figurative characters evolved from the closest thing to authentically sacred symbols from my culture- the graphic hand drawn aesthetics found in American animation.
Cartoon imagery personifies the human tendency to abstract from reality- to simplify and flatten it. Stubbornly living as if life is a 1-dimensional world of caricature has some advantages. Unfortunately the disadvantages range from obnoxious, torturous and to an extreme- deadly. Looking at the world multidimensionally one is overcome by absurd complexity and shocked by the cruelty, it’s almost too much to bare. American animation itself holds the contradiction of deeply loved foundational child’s entertainment and deeply racist black faced, white gloved history of minstrel shows.
Although it may be profoundly uncool, I maintain hope for the human race. I believe that being an artist means a commitment to translating unbearable, unspeakable, unthinkable aspects of reality in great detail; for me a functional contemporary artist is an alchemist philosopher. My practice is based on the assertion that if humans could understand each other’s experiences and communicate clearly, the malevolence caused by ignorance would naturally recede.
I use imagery which is foundational for so many millions of minds, the cartoon, the toy, the animal, symbols of growth and healing. The humor in my work functions in a sort of flat, affected, suffering style- it is not readily apparent. I do not “joke” so much as point to the shared patheticness and equality of the human condition. In my work I am laughing with homo sapiens as we are a sort of bastard Earthling animal born into an absurd state of self-awareness. We are in a fascinating situation, to have evolved over millions of years as natural beings then create an abstract language based world “outside” of nature. Even our dictionary defines “nature” as quintessentially “not human.”
The works are idols to natural states of innocence and love as forces contrary to ignorance and contrived malevolence. I believe there is a beautiful future for humanity, there is and always has been a quiet groundswell of decency, patience and humor which is orders of magnitude larger than a few loud monsters on the pages of history. I make accessible, meaningful work on the side of the quiet masses sustaining peace. My work is for people who walk in nature, who see beyond humanities abstractions and games, people who recognize their mother- Earth.