Briefly describe the work you do.
I create conceptually driven installations that reflect upon iconic cultural and societal events that have influenced major shifts in our collective consciousness, but now are at the point of forgetting.
For each exhibition, I combine and arrange multiple elements and mediums, (i.e. sculpture, video, digital images, etc.), to present visual and cognitive signs, or “clues”, that evoke a sub/conscious nostalgia, building multiple layers of information to be considered.
Veiled references to politics, pop culture and art history suggest connections and idiosyncrasies while exposing them as uncanny precursors to present-day realities.
Tell us about your background and how that has had an influence on your work and on you as an artist.
I grew up in a Connecticut suburb and was good at drawing cartoons. My mother was a frustrated artist as a youth, so she encouraged me to pursue my interests and was supportive of me attending art school. In my first semester I was exposed to so many great artists and movements, work that was basically ignored in my high school curriculum, that my direction and perspective was changed from that point on.
The concept of the artist studio has a broad range of meanings in contemporary practice. Artists may spend much of their time in the actual studio, or they may spend very little time in it. Tell us about your individual studio practice and how it differs from or is the same as traditional notions of “being in the studio.”
I had a studio in an old factory for many years, getting time only once a week or so as my kids were growing up. I lost that space when a developer bought the building and intended on turning it into luxury apartments. For many years after that I would prepare an exhibition based on floor plans and photos of the space all on my computer. Three years ago I received a grant from the city to rent a studio space, and now I don’t want to give it up. It has been incredibly beneficial to my work, allowing me to experiment with concepts and materials. I arrange elements for my sculptural installations, so I can set up scenarios in the space and leave them up to think about. The way I work is to bring an idea to a point of possible completion, then take pieces away until falls apart, that’s when I know its done.
What roles do you find yourself playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?
I not only make art, but I look at a lot of art. I have been fortunate to get opportunities over the years to curate exhibitions of the work that I have fallen in love with. I also have gotten into art handling and installation at galleries and museums which not only pays the bills, but allows me intimate access to great art. Never saw that coming.
When do you find is the best time to make art? Do you set aside a specific time everyday or do you have to work whenever time allows?
My studio is a only a block from where I live so I can pretty much go whenever the desire arises. I tend to work more when I have an exhibition on the horizon and in clusters of time when I am obsessed with a piece.
How has your work changed in the past five years? How is it the same?
My work has come together in the past several years, in a way that connects the work not just as a “body of work” but as a total way of working. The different outlets for ideas all fit together so that I can mix older pieces with new ones, bringing the original concept into a new scenario to influence and be influenced by the context.
How have people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers, other artists or even pop icons had an impact on the work you do?
I look at a lot of art, and much of it impacts me in a variety of ways. I also am inspired by music and good lyrics. My work is driven by sex, drugs and rock and roll. And politics, but that’s redundant.
Have you ever been pulled in the direction of a pursuit other than being an artist? What are your other interests?
I am very interested in computer graphics, web site development and design. I worked for Apple for ten years and it was a good run. I still do my own site, and a few for friends. The computer now plays a big role in the digital work I do, videos and images. Instead of it pulling me away from art I was able to pull it into my art.
All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.