My sculptures, paintings and works on paper have been exhibited in museums and galleries around Chicago and in other U. S. cities. Over the years my main medium has changed, but my aesthetics and interests have remained constant.
I’m a self-taught artist, and when I started making art I thought I would stick to drawing and painting, two-dimensional arts. But after I moved from paper and canvas to wood panel and then decided to carve into the wood panel, my work evolved into full-blown wood carving and construction, which I now pursue exclusively. Although I consider myself a sculptor now, I still draw and paint, but on a wood surface that usually has been carved. I often use discarded wood—logs that Chicago’s Department of Streets and Sanitation has garnered from city trees and wood from broken furniture.
I have several interests in my art-making: figures, frames, books. They are seemingly disparate elements but share a common theme—narrative, or story. Instead of going to art school, I studied literature, which is responsible for these interests in my visual art. My work is figurative, and I often include figures that interact within an individual artwork, as characters in a narrative do. And stories have narrative devices, such as the teller of the tale, that “frame” them; I have used pieces of secondhand frames and have carved frame pieces myself to communicate this idea.
Furthermore, narratives are commonly found in books, and I have incorporated books into my sculptures and installations. I carve most of the books from wood, but I have also used actual books that I have altered. The books are always used in such a way as to show the connection between human experience and the telling of it.
Another interest that has evolved is the use of cloth and stitching in my wood sculpture. At times the cloth (usually canvas) is used in order to create a painting/sculpture hybrid as well as to provide the housing for a frame. A third reason for the cloth is to contain stitching; the linear nature of thread (or string or yarn) makes a reference to the linearity of narrative.
As far as what these narratives are about . . . one could say that they are expressive of the human condition, but isn’t that at the heart of all storytelling? I like to leave further commentary to the viewers of my work. I don’t want to limit what viewers may think or feel about my work by talking about what I had in mind when I started a piece—which tends to change, anyway, in the process of creation.