What am I thinking about?????

Ceramic sculpture and portraiture, in particular, are forms of a visual narration that I use to satisfy my urge for documenting what I see in human nature. Evocative of well-loved toys and obsolete artifacts, I use the implied history of these objects to encourage the viewer to disconnect from the present situation and conjure their own individual narratives from my sculptures.

Working with concepts that are personal and sometimes narcissistic perceptions of the gloomy side of life, dark humor is my buffer. Dry or irreverent, it is humor that mystifies the tragic.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lord Cardigan - In Progress

First two layers of slip have been applied with a spray gun.

This is a cut out for a French Cleat hanging system

Thursday, April 21, 2011

What is the figure in contemporary art?

I don’t know if it is nessesarily a trend, but there seems to be a movement toward what I’ve heard/read described as “eccentric figuration”. The Grotesque, disturbing and highly eccentric. People in today’s culture have to wear many hats and identies. The internet has opended up a pandora’s box of information that saturates us daily. You look at any magazine, television show or internet site and become consumed with human faces. There seems to be a need to escape into someone else’s life, and leave personal realities far behind, even if just for a few minutes. In my work the figure is a fundemental vehicle for human identiy. It is that understandable and relatable compent that lures the viewer into my world.

Blackface in Sheep's Clothing

New sculpture for upcoming exhibition, FRESH FIGURINES: A New Look At An Historic Art Form
Curated by Gail M. Brown www.gailmbrown.com

Exhibition dates- October 8, 2011 to February 12, 2012

The Fuller Craft Museum www.fullercraft.org
455 Oak Street
Brockton, MA 02301

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves,” Gospel of Matthew, 7:15

There is tragic irony behind the genesis of the “black-faced/minstrel” shows (created from the mid 1880’s up until the Civil Rights movements of the 1960’s). More recently, in 2000, highlighting this history, Spike Lee Joint’s film, Bamboozled, exposes the deep-rooted racism inherent in these performances through a contemporary lens that demonstrates the damages still existing today. Looking back, however, the minstrels were created not only as a means to further popularize racism through the black-faced parodies, but also as a means for the white working class man to criticize the white upper class, disguised as black-face. And so, while this population of the white middle class was putting down the black population through racism, they were simultaneously putting down the white upper class for their own feelings of inequality through classicism. The irony is ripe.

The “black-faced” figurines were a token symbol of the minstrel shows and still remain objects loaded with racial tension and shameful intent. “Black-Face in Sheep’s Clothing” represents some of these underlying truths as the real black-face is revealed, by his white bare chest, his “sheep’s clothed” pants, and the sheep’s mask in hand. These elements simultaneously hide and reveal the condemnable history of the “black-face” and the figurines that perpetuated the racist imagery.

Moved to Princeton New Jersey

Well, I recently moved to Princeton NJ, actually I’ve been here for about 5 months. The time is flying by!

The BIG question, What are my future plans!

Right now I am working towards establishing myself as an independent studio artist. I’m located an hour from both NYC and Philadelphia and would love to sustain myself and eventually a family on my art work. Is that possible? I’m not sure especially in this economy.

I’m also looking for an educational career within my field, in public, private, post secondary, community art center, workshops, and visiting artist gigs, etc. They are all areas that I’m exploring. Bottom line is I have to make time for making art and I enjoy teaching.

Immediately, I am working as the visiting artist at Princeton Day School (www.pds.org), interacting with a wonderful art department there, substitute teaching when it comes up, teaching ceramics courses at the Arts Council of Princeton, and just recently I was selected as an Artist In Resident at the Arts Council of Princeton (www.artscouncilofprinceton.org) .

The Smoker-Process Photos- New Ceramic Sculpture

I’ve been working on this ceramic sculpture, working title, The Smoker, for the past 2 weeks. It’s a homage to my ex-downstairs neighbors, who were great people but habitually smoked cigarettes. So much that the smoke penetrated the floor and fumigated us in our apartment. Not a pleasant situation to say the least. The sculpture is intended to mount on a wall. Eventually it will have hair, an enormous mustache and a calabash style pipe.

I’m having some trouble deciding on what to use for the hair. One idea is natural sheep’s wool.

Any thoughts?

To Be Continued......

Waiting to cast the Calabash Pipe
and put on the mustache

Detail of eyes

Detail of Holes

Out of the bisque firing and first sanding finished.