For years now there has been a sculpture on a wall in my home, a spontaneous arrangement of primary color and great intuitive planning. It’s origin was utilitarian: a gray CD case, 5”x 5”. The simplicity of form and color inspired my jr. high aged son to transform it with remnants of brightly colored duct tape.( I had multiple rolls of it lying around after I’d finished a project with the students in our rural northern New Mexico school district, where I was Artist in Residence at the time.) His work is a masterpiece. A haiku of sorts, made in the tear and stick frenzy of any artist in the “zone”, without self-conscious scrutiny. The piece has color, composition, power and identity. When I’m really “on”, I hope for that feel.
Years of simple shapes (mostly squares) have run me through the gamut of choices in forms and finishes…severe, pure, bright, painted, rusted, old, worn, smooth, and rough: Pieces in site, pieces about site. Pieces about walls or light, and pieces about both elements.
In 1989, when my son was born, I built a series of works in elemental shapes with bright colors…children’s colors. That show was a statement of joy and hope and color. Now I am back there in a way (add 21 years) with new shapes and different colors. The challenge is to make it work without losing the integrity of shape or color. Ask a painter about the power of color, and ask a sculptor about the power of shape. Ask me, somewhere in the middle, about the power of both things. That describes my current artistic efforts. I’ve often told my students that the closest thing to a powerful piece is a really dumb piece. As a “big mountain” skier my son has had to choose the most powerful line down a mountain, which is often the line closest to disaster. I try for that line in sculpture. Much like any pursuit, to be safe is not acceptable, to be great is the aspiration, and to crash is also part of the process. The mix of all these creates art marked by passion, joy, regret, and best of all hope. My hope is to get to continue the process and the journey.