It is with things that I begin. I seek to transform the common, utilitarian, and unaesthetic objects that surround us into intellectual fulcrums around which stratified, polyphonic thought might exist. By creating a Duchampian dialectic of non-art objects with literal, physical, cultural, and poetic dimensions the formerly mundane approach the rigor of high art. Like Rumpelstiltskin spinning straw into gold, I seek to shift the material reality of pedestrian objects through a series of intellectual and formal gestures.
This shift from determined object toward the art object is often accomplished by stripping the object of its usefulness; Lampshades that do not provide useable light, cloths that cannot cover their wearer, and powered sugar spilled hopelessly across the sidewalk. It is when the possibility of function is removed that we see the flexibility of the once stagnantly defined object. Paradoxically, it is the transition from the well-defined to the mercurial or poetic that reassigns objects as a system for arranging ones thoughts.
Another means by which I examine daily life is through the examination of prosaic spaces. By connecting to disfavored routes in the development of our definition of art I can connect to the history of art but expand beyond its present. Specifically, I have become interested in landscape design as a historically valued extension of art movements such as the rococo and romanticism. I seek to extending this stunted branch of art history to contemporary, suburban landscaping through the application of the Beaux-arts of our time (modernism). Through this application of a formalist vocabulary landscaping is energized as an abstracted and objectified subject.
The application of modernism, minimalism, design, and formalist aesthetics are consistent throughout my work. I employ formalist technique to arrange these objects allowing the viewer to see these banal objects as art. The application of formal rigor to the objects allows them to become compositions for focused attention. Artist beginning with 17th century Dutch still-life painters have illustrated how the skillful arrangement of objects allows for the transmutation of banality into complex webs of metaphor.
Similarly to the coded moralizing messages of Dutch still-life, my work is concerned with using objects as a way to talk about people. By eschewing the traditional foci of psychological consideration, the figure, I am able to bypass issues of objectification. We accept that objects, unlike people, are always given their meaning by the viewer. The object as a non-sentient vessel is able to take on this meaning without repression. The relationship between the form of the vessel (or art object), the association the viewer imparts, and the final cultural use of the art object is, at best, dynamic.
It is precisely the discrete, familiar, at hand nature of domestic objects and spaces that make them particularly ripe as a subject. The percussive force of the expansion of the prosaic to the poetic is magnified by the closeness to everyday things. It is my hope that through a series of formal, conceptual, and contextual shifts, my work succeeds in spinning the familiarity of life into strange, luxurious, and deeply fraught gold.