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Visual Thinking

I have often sought a through line in my work, a sense that what I am making has some common denominator. For a time I relied on the use of a material or method, but that got complicated quickly by my love of ceramics, and printmaking, and drawing, and painting, etc. I prefer not to be hemmed in by the desire for fitting myself into a category, a discipline, in spite of having worked with ceramics much of my life. So I began to look for a visual or formal language that held together across all these media. Drawing and a graphic line seems to run most coherently through my work, and yet even that falters as I find my line or my approach to materials, or my embrace of theatricality can lean hard into an expressiveness that doesn't fit neatly into a formalism that seems so popular of late. In all this incessant seeking to conform to a core identity through form making, I was reminded of the desire for freedom that art making has always been about; breaking out of the conformity of a culture that I have often felt constrained by, making a mark. And in that simple seeking of a place for free expression of form and materials and ideas, I find joy and laughter, and surprise. The core of what I make are not simply images and objects, it’s like an energy, like the artifacts of an event, a memory, a moment.

This sequence of images below began with 1,000 drawings culled from 30 years of sketch books, transformed into 41 prints, with gestural drawings of Jamón Ibérico (Spanish smoked ham legs), superimposed in four colors, abstracted and broken down into half-tone dot patterns. These prints were then cut up into 1,000 small swatches, and were papered over sculptural plinths on which various ceramic abstractions of ham and pork products were placed. Then these prints were silk-screened onto thin paper and pasted over ceramic busts, and lately these have been printed directly onto porcelain forms. An idea unfolds visually and intuitively, and I try to keep up with it, chasing it where it wants to go.
E, “Sous Les Pavés, La Plage!” (Congregation of Wits)Double-sided silkscreen print on cotton rag paper 2018 17x17 inches Edition of 40, Recto and Verso, details from one of a series of print editions included in the series Congregation of Wits, a multi-media drawing, print, animation and sculptural project exploring drawing and language.
Pentimento 21 (Patroclus Sleeping) Tin glazed stoneware modeled after a glaze recipe first used in Persia 800 CE, silkscreen print on archival paper mounted to a sheet of tin and wrapped around the ceramic bust. 2021. 26 x 16 x 16 inches I was inspired by the publication Song of Achiellies by Madeline Miller, which led me to read the Illiad, and consider the intimate relationship between Patroclus and Achilles. The historical erasure of intimacy between them is an example of how history is written by those in power. In the LGBTQ community there are too few artists who survive to be elders. The real queer coming of age is recovering ones histories; first as a viewer finding ourselves, then as a participant in the production of culture. We enfold queer traces into our creations, into our memories so we can pass them on. I made this bust of Patroclus sleeping, with a print on paper mounted to a sheet of tin draped over the face. It is an allusion to the grieving of Achiellies over his dead lover.
Congregation of Wits, Box Set (Red 1,000)Detail of A Congregation of Wits, 1,000 prints.
Sorting printsGabriel helping me sort through thousands of prints in the studio.
One thousand printsDetail of A Congregation of Wits, 1,000 prints.
AcetatesExcerpts from the print and animation project.
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    A group show of works by eight artists presenting an ensemble of unabashedly delicate and highly decorative works that employ non-traditional craft materials and techniques to arrive at an expression of exquisite beauty that pleasures the eye and quivers

     

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