Art theory, in its constant pursuit to redefine art and its cultural relevance, has recently favored sculpture that pushes the boundaries of human interaction and cultural content. Some of the most exciting developments in art today include artworks in video, installation, performance, and relational aesthetics. As an art educator and appreciator, I enjoy contemporary art theory and the most cutting edge directions in its evolution… as an art maker, however, I value the “art object.”
For me an object itself represents the most fundamental expression of life through the act of synthesis. So, I have chosen to focus on the “object” in my work and to exploit the physicality of form along with the ability of form to remind the viewer of their connection to the natural world.
In this new work-in-progress, I am turning my attention to my upbringing in the Rocky Mountain West. I have spent my entire life in the West, aside from 4 to 5 years in New York, Chicago, Mexico, and traveling Europe. My perspective has been deeply influenced by a raw exposure to the rural West’s dramatic land, weather, and extant lifestyle.
As I contemplate this new work, it occurs to me that verticality has a special and fundamental affect on our human psyche. In relative terms there is a preponderance of horizontality in our physical and experiential world. I am always struck by the visual impact of almost any object in the expanse of the West. It is clear to me that if gravity had its way… everything would be flat. It then follows that any 3-dimension object is a testament to life-force and resilience. Everything that has a vertical dimension is either “alive” or the result of some “living” process. Earth processes create mountains and gravity slowly grinds them down creating complex forms and character. Life forms reach for the sky and humans build monuments that represent our perennial dance with the forces of nature.