Statements

“2019 Michigan Regional Glass Exhibition”   Janice  Charach Gallery

“The Girl With the Golden Gown”  (one of two panels)

kiln cast glass on steel plate 2019

This piece is one of the first in a sequence of portraits and narratives that inter- connect both conceptually and physically through the structure of component parts (a puzzle). Eventually, much like a family tree gone wild, I envision imagery on cast glass puzzle parts to build on the structure that preceded it and travel in any and all directions up and down a wall. As it does so, it will have the ability to the change the meaning of the whole by adding new images and juxtaposing them in a manner that creates a new context for the earlier sections. The final version with all its puzzle panels (probably a year or two out) will function as a glass mural at considerable scale. Conceivably it could ring an entire room shifting its narrative as it goes.

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“PopnLock”  exhibition statement,  Habatat Galleries, May 2019


 Preface

I have about twenty different artist’s statements. This is one of them. Most of it is true.

Statement

I believe that art is a mediation between that which exists and that which is imagined, an exposed earnest statement that challenges norms and inspires reflection. I’m not interested in creating work for which I already have the answer. I prize invention and innovation. I find pure joy in the discovery of unexpected and unconventional solutions.

Whether I direct it, or it directs me, all my work tends to arrive at the conclusion that the job of life is to become whole. At its core, my artwork traces transformations: spiritual, conceptual, physical, and emotional passages that lead from one point to another. It is both a record of what’s come before and a prediction of what lies ahead. It is an evolutionary roadmap.

The narratives that underpin my artwork embrace the inherent conflict between growth and entropy where little is fixed and most everything is in flux.

For years I’ve had ideas about how photography and glass might work together to create unique images and objects, hybrids that carve out new artistic ground. My recent work, the work in this exhibition, is a direct result of that effort. The piece, “The Man of Many Lips” is one of my first, post-test, iterations that combines kiln cast glass with fused enamel imagery (decals). Each puzzle piece is individually cast, fused with a decal, cold-worked, and is designed to be interchangeable with pieces from other puzzles, thereby allowing the meaning of the artwork to shift with the addition of or subtraction of new content. Pull a puzzle piece and add a new one, and the story can begin to change.

The sculpture, “The Thinking Man’s Son” is my first kiln cast piece –– the piece with which I learned the basics of lost wax, mold-making and kiln-casting ––– and although it does not directly incorporate photo imagery, it helped establish the conceptual groundwork for the idea of interchangeable components where sections can be removed and replaced.

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“The Temple of Wonders” statement 2016

LK SohoPhoto[1]

“The Temple of Wonders” (the series)

I had polio as a child and developed epilepsy as an adult. Somewhere in between I suffered a cardiac death and traveled­­–––floated, really–– through a corridor of light only to joyfully reach my destination and be told the bad news, “ Go back. We’re not ready for you yet.” I use a machine to help me breathe when I sleep, my shoulders are held together with screws, my jaw is wired together in multiple places, I have a device implanted in my body to regulate my heart, and I recently had a hip removed and replaced with titanium, chromium, and polyethylene. Is this normal? Am I normal?

“The Temple of Wonders” asks: Who, or what, is normal?

Much like the circus sideshow my photographs acknowledge the physical embodiment of human anomaly and psychological aberration at its furthest edge. With their hyperbolic exaggerations, blends of the real with the artificial, and their promises of the impossible they seek to provide manifestations of absurd worlds at the extremes, clearly off the norm.  As such, they represent a montage of the authentic and the invented, an assault on the senses that is perfectly suited for manipulations at the margins and, in particular, photographs of the body. And in this carefully crafted environment a body with its gold painted armor can survive almost anything. It’s only the psyche that’s at risk.

The physical wounds -–– the stitching, the stapling, the scars ––– are actually mine. The psychological pain belongs to us all.

Is this normal?

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