ANYWAY, a lot has gone down since the Bearded Men- a body of artworks that sent me off to the races. A growing part of my process has been to allow my work to be a more direct record of my experiences. New (York) Animism, for example, is a group of works that came immediately following The Bearded Men. When I made the works in that group, where I responded directly to the materials, I decided to get into my philosophy about looking at found material as a whole: it's like people watching. I would assemble seemingly disparate found components, and went in to bring the personalities out of the objects as I saw them.
|“Not the Face! (That’s the Cash Register)” reclaimed wood, paper, and acrylic, 19"x16"x12", 2016|
|“Smoke Break”, reclaimed wood, paper, acrylic, found metal, and spray paint, 9"x14.5"x8.5", 2016|
|"Birdhouse Repo", wood, metal, found signage, and pvc, 132"x26"x26", 2017|
|"Birdhouse 1", found wood, carved foam, and acrylic, 15"x16"x9", 2016|
In the months that followed, I entered a segue based on the same line of thinking from New York Animism, this time in response to a major(ish) life shift - moving. The thing I didn't expect to experience during my address change was the constant inventory of all my shit - every stick of furniture, every knick-knack, and all of the stuff I love but never made a permanent place for. With that, My Stuff and Me was born. During this work period, I focused a lot more on gesture and making sure that I was not just simply adding limbs to amalgamations of scraps, but creating identities and individuals frozen in a moment.
|"Drawer," reclaimed wood, found drawer handle, rope, found linen, paper, and acrylic, 20"x20"x9", 2017|
|"Shelf", acrylic, paper, and reclaimed wood, 17"x22"x8", 2017|
After getting my feet properly wet with the upswing of work, I had a chance to talk about these things on BTR Today's Art Uncovered with Kimberly Ruth. It was a really fun podcast interview to do, and if you haven't gotten a chance to listen, you can find it by clicking HERE.
Since then, I have been spending a lot more time considering the world around the characters I had developed. Part of that had to develop through understanding what is natural to me; being a city boy, I started to realize that pulling these objects from the street for their beauty is not too different from the way others might pull things into their home from nature. So I started to develop a language around what I consider the most basic versions of that, which relate to plants and animals. I became inspired by the way people pull in flowers or plants in order to balance out their homes, as well as hunting trophies people take home as a reference to their "other lives" outside of brick and pavement. This has become a body of work comprised of wreaths and antler trophies, which I call Flora and Fauna. It has been a pretty liberating experience. I still wanted to include organic references and talk about living things, but I couldn't bear to make one more damn hand in such a relatively short period of time. The break was both glorious and educational.
|“Trophy 2”, reclaimed wood, metal,paper, and acrylic, 21.5”x14”6.5”, 2017|
|“Wreath 1”, reclaimed wood, metal, paper, and acrylic, 17”x16.5”x3.5”, 2018|
As usual, thanks for reading. I'm working on more things and keeping the ball rolling down a pretty steep hill, so keep your eyes peeled on Facebook and IG for new developments.
Until next time!