Part of me always will be that little boy, . . . inquisitive, mischievous, defiant, empathetic, introspective, shy, capable of intense focus but prone to indiscipline most of the time, and not quite knowing where I belong. My artwork reflects all of that.
Source is where it starts. I don't know where it comes from but there is a constant stream of creativity flowing through me like a rich, gentle waterfall of ideas, concepts, solutions, connections, visions and more, all available to me when I pay attention. I reach into the stream when it is time to make art. The stream is always there whether I am present with it or not.
Technology, Science, Nature, and Art are all of a piece to me. I have lifelong connections to science, technology, and toys, from early tinkering with model airplanes, rockets and trains to experiments with electricity and radios. I have spent countless hours alone outdoors enjoying encounters with all manner of wildlife from crayfish to deer. All of this feeds into the way I think about my art work. There is almost always an underlying concept in the work that has some root in the sciences or some direct connection to nature. My titles often include references to scientific concepts, some of which may even be very obscure. From the "Echoes" series of mixed media pieces to the sound art pieces like the S.W.A.R.M.s and including the "Tectonics" series of gourd sculptures, many of my works are directly connected to my own understanding of natural laws and scientific principles.
Gourd Sculpture is the first art form for which I received any kind of public recognition as an individual artist. It all starts in a fascination with the idea of this organic vessel, a vessel in which I see so much potential for playing with form within a severely constrained space. With each piece I am trying to make a statement that will move my own work away from the traditions of folk art and toward something more conceptual and abstract. I explore the sensual forms of some gourds, exploit the geometry of others, and force contours and surfaces to appear as what they are not in still others. Then there is the matter of teasing out and executing a kind of technological precision that is unexpected from an organic form. I want to challenge the viewer to closely inspect the work trying to find evidence of manufacture (in the most literal sense).
Photography is the most intimate thing I do in art. It is the sharing of the intimacy that I strive for. I want my audience to not only see what I see, but feel what I feel. In photographing people, sometimes the intimacy can be a little remote, journalistic, even voyeuristic. Other times it is close and knowing. In most cases, I have already interacted in some way with my subject through as much as a whole conversation or as little as a smile, a nod, a wave, or a wink. They always know I am there and what I am doing. Intimacy with the inanimate is more problematic. For me it means looking closely, looking beyond the surface, looking at texture, at history, at cause, at effect…looking for why it is interesting to me. I fully expect to be taught by the experience.
Sound Art is what I taught and where I challenged the privileged position of the visual. I lived easily with the contradiction of creating visual art while I railed against it and created acoustic works.