Sculpture has been a part of my art making process throughout my career. My recent concentration in sculpture started in 2006, when I began an ongoing series of paper sculptures entitled “Flesh & Blood”. These pieces are conceptual in nature, realized in a simple manner and push the capabilities and limits of paper. In the past few years, I started making carved wood sculptures and a series of wood mobiles. The diversity of medium allows me to explore the appropriate method and form to fully realize each idea.
I started working with concrete in early 2013, it is my most recent and challenging medium thus far. These works are inspired by an expansive body of graphite drawings that are created several times a year, and have continued throughout my whole career. They fuel my paintings and have been imagined as sculptures as well.
The underlying content of all of my sculptural works is sociopolitical and humanistic. They grapple with timeless ethical and societal issues throughout history that have never really changed such as respect, empathy, poverty, wealth, sickness, health, prejudice and many more that concern and affect me on a daily basis. In part, my art becomes a redemptive act and a way to realign my priorities as well as help others “see” theirs.
Concrete has become a material of every day life, it is something we walk or drive upon or a building we go to work in. It is a permanent and durable material conceived to exist outdoors, which is something I hope for some of the pieces I make. These sculptures will not go away without a lot of work. Concrete then becomes an indelible metaphor for longevity and permanence. It took explosives and tanks to destroy the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan. They were a testament to the power of images and beliefs held by us all, which like art, are often difficult to destroy. This is why I chose concrete; it can solidify my ideas into solid forms that have the potential to be uplifting or confrontational (to some) but never indecisive or ephemeral.
The idea of the concrete sculpture as a “permanent” medium makes each decision for the piece all the more important and crucial. Since I am using a hardener in the cement, each move or passage must be deliberate and swift. The spontaneity and energy I bring to the work is made easier yet remains urgent and precise as I am building. Those decisions are reflected in the final piece, successful or not.