In my political works of the previous two decades I used transference of photographs, newspapers, and maps onto ceramics to question the role of the physical and political boundaries. Do walls protect or divide? Do we make our borders or do our borders make us?
In this new series, i manipulate clay to appear soft, flowing fabric-a symbol of femininity and preceived fragility and purity. This is juxtaposed with rigid and foreboding metal objects that project a traditional view of masculinity, strength and power. These works aim to reconstruct these impressions through contemplation of the materials. It is the metal that will rust and decay, while the ceramics, despite its supple appearance, will endure. I hope these works will lead my audience to not only challenge their perceptions of my art and medium, but also lead them to a deeper contemplation of appearances in general.
Appearances can be misleading; never less, perceptions is the underpinning of reality. In Title of series I explore how social constructions, subliminal judgements and preconceived notions have a profound effect on our lives.
"Real Imagined Borders"
Man is forever striving to define his territory, and our modern global history is proof of that inclination. Borders and fences are all too-real to those whom they surround, enclose, contain or repel. They are often symbols of tension and conflict. Yet ultimately they are mankind's vain attempts to mark fictitious boundaries which nature never intended.
My series of ceramic/steel canvases entitled Real imagined borders are populated with printed images of people ambiguously positioned behind or in front of, demarcated obstructions. Found objects of worn stone and corroded metal embedded in these canvases signify the permeability and vulnerability of these divisive constructions. The images and the wall forms are a result of mixed media, various techniques of glazing, the use of oxides and engobes, silk screened images, and multiple firings.
Walls, Fences and Maps
Maps speak volumes and paint real pictures of the complex history of a given country. Likewise, walls have been a fundamental part of man's attempt to conquer and lay claim to his territory. All over the world, maps and fences do the same - demarcate, separate, enclose, and divide.
My ceramic works are inspired by a need to creatively explore this universal phenomenon. I use images of maps, walls, and fences as metaphors of man's futile attempt to rule over the land and to dictate the fate of its inhabitants. My use of clay carries a symbolic aspect: the raw material is derived from the land itself. Just as maps are constantly altered and manipulated, my individual pieces are reworked and altered in order to endow them with an organic aspect. The landscape images and the wall forms are a result of various techniques of glazing, the use of various oxides and engobes, silk screened images, and multiple firings.
The American Dream
A house is a home is a family; not a property, or an investment, but a cornerstone of the American Dream, an iconic emblem of this country. It's an ideal so basic, it even appears in children's earliest drawings. Yet recent images of houses are more likely to show them standing abandoned, bolted...foreclosed. The families who once lived in them have been uprooted and, sometimes, destroyed. Their American dreams have gone bankrupt. In my installation I have created images depicting the American Dream as a mere commodity. The work is a reflection of a reality where people capitalize on the broken dreams of others to satisfy their greed. Do you want to invest in bankruptcy?
"I wear the chain I forged in life. I made it link by link, and yard by yard: I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it."
- Charles Dickens, Christmas Ghost Stories
These words still resonate with ill-fated clarity, spanning generations and cultures to encompass an elemental truth about human nature. We need look no further than ourselves to find those responsible for creating the chains (real or imagined) that confine, bind and shackle us. My new clay sculptures represent the self-imposed chains of ideology, patriotism, religion, love and hate. By bearing the yoke of these chains, we forfeit freedom and are ultimately bound together with our nemesis.
Games and Puzzles
My current series of ceramic works invites the viewer to conceptually, virtually and physically interact with interchangeable puzzle/game pieces within this framework. The viewer may choose his colors and shapes and actually play with tactile forms to encourage artistic and creative problem solving.