My current body of work could be characterized as organic sculptural composites of my experiences and observations in nature. I am specifically drawn to connections that underscore the essence of being. My research of biological structures of both macro and micro-forms provide the structural anatomy and biological inspiration for works that are metaphoric and symbolic language for the spectrum of human spirituality. Through drawings, works in metal, and kinetic sculptures – my work generates an out of body experience of the inner workings of the body. By displacing functions and organs from their natural bodily setting, the work creates universal narratives of contemporary human conditions. The wonderful mechanisms that are unique to specific biological structures provide me with important information that reveal links between biological and metaphysical characteristics. My investigation and research particularly in the area of microbiology has provided the greatest source of inspiration for my current conceptual framework. Unseen forms and structures play an important part of my visual language; thus, recent forms I’ve created vary in size and material – welded metal armatures, latex casts, micro processing and LED lighting have all been used to add dynamic and unique characteristics to my work, which heighten the imagination of the viewer. Using unseen structures is not solely utilized to highlight the beauty and wonder that is found in these often overlooked forms, but it is also used to capture a part of ourselves. The larger than life biological representations cause the viewer to think differently about the body. Linking different forms together and using recognizable materials in unconventional ways enable new meanings to rise from current understandings of ourselves and the world around us.
As an artist teacher I stand on the shoulders of generations of other artist teachers whose aim was to continue a legacy of teaching the relevance of past artists movements and techniques and how they are germane to our own artistic expressions. The classroom for me is a laboratory of sorts for artistic experimentation and discovery. It is an intimate place of learning the language of speaking with objects of color and other materials. Such language is highly personal and requires time in the classroom /studio to master. I try to teach my students to become life long learners, to never be satisfied with where they are, but to continue to push themselves farther with every artistic assignment they tackle, which hopefully continues beyond the classroom. However, in the classroom I have three general goals that I concentrate my efforts on.
The first is to equip my students with the compulsory skills and knowledge of the Artist, materials and techniques, which will enhance their aesthetic objectives. This knowledge base is specifically tested through a rigorous critique of each students work in the area of concept, technique and material composition. The era we live in is driven by technology and innovation and I encourage that the same approach be considered in the work of my students. Art should communicate to the contemporary human experience; it is irrevocably linked to the time it is produced because of the influences and experiences of the artist. Wassily Kandinsky stated it best that ‘Art is a child of its age.” This is particularly relevant to artists and students working with digital media. Technology and digital media is to the contemporary artist what paint and brush was to the traditional artist. What I communicate to my students is that the medium is not a means to and end. But that such mediums should be used to support a relevant conceptual framework that is expressed through their aesthetic production.
My second goal as an artist-teacher is to introduce my students to the idea of aesthetic analysis, in both their own work and that of others. I teach a number of aesthetic systems of analysis, which are made up of the foundational elements and principles of design. The skills gained through understanding such universal aesthetic tools equip students to collect an accurate survey of their own work and the work of others through the analysis of visual components; the analysis of composition; and the analysis of color theory.
Once these two goals have been met I move beyond purely aesthetic inquiry; and introduce the third and final goal of a critical analysis of artwork itself. Dissecting the success and failure of the conceptual framework. These processes of advanced analysis will not only sharpen their aesthetic acuity but it will arm students with the tools necessary to improve their own future work. Students learn to think carefully about all decisions they make with regard to materials and technique and to relate these decisions to a historical and theoretical context.
The three goals mentioned above could be exercised in any type of art class because the focus is on three main components of any successful artist: technical, aesthetic and theoretical acuity.