My studio is a perfect place. Because it exists not only as a geographical space but as an idea, a simple clean flawless idea, a fertile bright place of imagination and creativity. The physical attributes are marvelous, but the concept of the studio elevates it to perfection. No place is more safe or more magical. It remains both a destination for me and a place from which to set off. I have always filled my studios with objects and materials, talismans, nostalgia and imagination. My walls are covered with potential, the floor is bright with residue and evidence. At the door is a threshold, once inside I know who I am. I can build, I can draw, I know I am the grandson and the brother, I know I can make. My studio is a perfect place. It is the place where I imagine what is next.
The works I generate in my studio are my efforts to communicate with my audience in the best ways I know how. My art always has a physical presence, either through a performer or a lumpy object. The work exists to be touched and experienced, often the experience is paramount and the objects play a supporting role. We as a people simply feel better when we physically engage an experience. Our greatest joys come from physical presence and encounters with life which are moving forward impervious to our control. We cannot rewind or fast-forward our everyday interactions with people and places, and that constant forward motion allows us to feel risk and excitement and ultimately joy in the success of making it through any given situation.
I base my art on systems, routine, and ritual. The work prods the templates surrounding systems of loyalty, rally, journey, adventure, observation, indulgence, and fascination. My practice consists of looking, gathering, making, and then activating. My art appears as many things from the handle, the grip, a weight on your foot, the tracks left behind, even the rocks forming the ring for the fire. I expect my audience to fill in the blanks at the end or the beginning or the middle, especially the middle. I love the middle. I love the place between two points, just before you get there but definitely after you have left, the diver after the board but before the water. I love the middle, the ever expanding impossible to confine middle.
The audience often becomes my collaborators. The crossover from audience to collaborator should be seamless and quick. In many of my projects my fellow artists and I am concerned most with giving our audience an access point to join us in the creation of art. A place for them to begin developing ownership over their experience and consequentially the piece itself. The participants must engage the space, the objects, the artists/performers, and the other members of the audience. Mixing together until the combination and participation of everything becomes a full and complete change for them. The hope is to mark our audience in their psyche, building monuments in the timelines of their lives, giving to them a new and different way of being.
My practice starts media blind. Beginning with an idea, a thought that feels important, and which I believe should be communicated. That idea gets researched investigated looked at from many angles, and run through the critical wringer until it becomes an intention. Once I have my intention, I seek out which ever medium best articulates my intention. Video, sculpture, paint, performance, or a hybrid variation of materials and techniques which fall between classic genres. The work then begins a vigorous shake out and strategy process. How will this work be seen, where, when and under what circumstances? I want the reception point of the work to be as thoughtful as the aesthetic treatment. Art may behave very much like the ordinary, but there is a shift from normal to extraordinary, the same shift which occurs on the threshold of the studio. When an audience becomes active and art engages and begins to exist, when is art rather than what is art. I have been chasing a definition of art for years. I anticipate never fully finishing my definition. That search is what makes my studio perfect.