I am constantly visiting flea markets and estate sales searching for everyday objects that give me pause. From old shoes, worn books, and rusty screwdrivers to bicycle parts, vintage rulers, and crutches. I also have an affinity for collecting hundreds of the same item. These discarded and overlooked objects come home to my Oakland based studio. There, my haul of the neglected are repurposed into assemblage sculptures and installations.
My assemblages are material-based and process oriented. The objects I collect are used for their connotative, associative or narrative possibilities primarily meant to address social, cultural, and political topics.
Viewing my art is not meant to be a passive experience. I use materials that challenge viewers to consider multiple references to understand the full meaning of my tactile sculptures and/or immersive installations. I want my audience to think beyond the object’s physical confines and ask: What are the associative qualities of these objects referring to?
B. 1953, St Louis, Missouri.
I am an assemblage artist living and working in California’s Bay Area. My process-oriented sculptures and installations reimagine overlooked and neglected items sourced from local flea markets and estate sales. I combine seemingly disjointed finds to create tactile and immersive artworks addressing social, cultural, and political topics.
I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. Although neither my mother nor father were artists, my artistic approach is profoundly shaped by their avid collecting and individual tastes. My father had a tightly defined area of interest—pre-Prohibition brewery advertising from St. Louis, Missouri—and very rarely strayed beyond it. He would judge pieces solely based on quality, disregarding any emotional influence. On the other hand, my mother had much more eclectic interests. Her less discerning approach resulted in scattered collections of everything from antique plastic animal toys, to southwestern kitsch. Like my mother, I can be drawn to new objects, without a clear idea of why the attraction exists or how the object will fit into the larger scheme of my work. Like my father, I at times take a step back to balance the emotional attraction with the bigger picture.
My first collection was Nazi war metals. I have only used objects to make art for the last 13 years or so; before then, I created black and white photography. My collecting habits have changed over the years–not the “what,” but the “why?” of the collecting. I now primarily collect for art, occasionally allowing myself to pickup some irrelevant objects, an influence from my mother, for my personal satisfaction. However, the line between the two is quite fluid, with objects moving between the two worlds as needed.
I am a self-taught artist with skills developed in classes at the Kansas City Art Institute, the University of Texas in Arlington, Kala Institute in Berkeley, and machine shop at the Crucible in Oakland. I taught myself how to weld, how to make urethane rubber molds and cast polyester resin. My wood and metal working skills come from spending most of my high school years in the industrial arts building instead of other classes. My influences are also as diverse, from Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, Jaume Plensa to Joseph Cornell and Marcel Duchamp.