Artist Statement / Biography
My work is a subversion of Brutalist Architecture. The jubilant colors evoke children’s toys and 80’s fashion. My love of Science Fiction, city life, travel and crafts are inspiration.
Language, decoration and their relationship have been key to my work from the beginning. I remember cutting out fluorescent pink grip tape into tribal shapes for my skateboard in the mid-80’s. Text in video games (NES), stickers, album art (Alice Cooper, Bon Jovi, etc), collaging cigarette and liquor ads from Rolling Stone magazine on my locker door in Middle School. In High school I wore thrift Store wool sweaters and bell bottoms. I made my own jewelry from cutting up pennies into Crosses and tying in paper clips and safety pins. I wore my grandmother’s cross necklaces. (Later in life learned about Maplethorpe’s early jewelry). I sewed my own baggy jeans with brown furry fabric or rainbow patterns.
I moved to Detroit in 1997 to attend the College for Creative Studies for my BFA. I was in the Fine Arts Department but I often hung out with Crafts kids. I learned about Nauman, Ruscha, Kruger, John Cage. I lived in Detroit’s Cass Corridor, we smoked weed, listened to Hip-Hop (Outkast’s Aquemini and DJ Shadow’s Entroducing basically on repeat). We freestyled to the music. We wrote lyrics. I made text based paintings and wrote concrete poetry.
I began to draw asemic shapes, abstracted characters and condensed blueprints. London, 2000, studying at Central St. Martins I was influenced by the street signs - overhead views which I saw as objects. A trip to Wales, Celtic rose designs carved in stone floor graves at the 13th century Tintern Abbey. These shapes led me to make what I called ‘Paintings for the Blind', sanded wood cut-out shapes, reminiscent of Dogon masks or Space Invaders, mounted to the wall. (I also made a series called 'Paintings for the Deaf' which were painted blindfolded while listening to music).
I was a painter for almost 20 years. Today I make sculptures. Makes sense. Feels right. I realized Architecture has been a huge influence in my life. I attended a Louis Kahn Church in the 90’s in Rochester, NY, then experienced Detroit’s Guardian Building and its ornate Pewabic Pottery. Then Cranbrook - Eliel Saarinen Art Deco and Loja Saarinen weavings. (Textiles/Architecture/Videogames/Text all connected).
I have lived NYC since 2008 working in event production and fabrication. I travel around the world working at museums and Art Fairs. The 600 year old Osaka castle (and the impossible joint) was the trigger for my newest sculptures. Three years in a row I’ve worked at the Louvre Abu Dhabi in the UAE as an Art Technician. The architecture of the Middle East has deeply inspired my practice. Brutalist, sand beaten buildings in the desert - like playthings of giants.