I currently maintain three practices, each distinct with respect to media, while sharing overlapping themes and concerns. Geometric patterns, images, lines, and forms are grounded in mathematics yet can evoke a kind of spirituality. Archeologists have discovered Paleolithic carvings with geometric motifs. Plato and many of his followers viewed his eponymous solids as universal building blocks. I am interested in transitions between, and into, chaos and disorder, or into complex natural structures. Conflicting signals of spatiality vs flatness also intrigue me.
My work is an experiential investigation of our processing of sensory input into mostly, but not always, accurate representations of reality. The moment of slippage from seeing something as volumetric versus flat and back again, within an artful context, can be mysteriously transporting. For a moment, consciousness uncannily observes consciousness.
At one level, the objects I refer to as “Reflect/Spirit/Light” (R/S/L) function as geometric abstractions that incorporate fluid imagery and color. Importantly they elicit startling illusions of volume, space, and transparency. Activated only by immediately present, embodied viewers, R/S/L objects elicit experiences rather than serving as pictorial windows.
The multistep process behind R/S/L entails macro-photography of optically clear models of Platonic solids posed, with varied lighting, on photographs of other of my art objects, or refracted light, or other inspirations. The chosen images are the basis for laser cutting to shape of the isolated forms, of mirrored acrylic sheet. Pigments are applied and UV-cured using a flat-bed printer dedicated to this process. Some pieces in this series are also painted or etched.
I construct and fasten backings and custom receptacles for artist-designed mounting fixtures. They are easily installed via two standard screws, and customizable as to slant and distance from the wall. Such unconventional display, as well as the cutting to shape, contributes to the overall sense of objects in space. The reflective support adds to the experience by suggesting transparency and refraction, as well as reflection.
I have been fascinated by string for many years. It is ordinary, and quintessentially linear, yet has actual weight and volume. Despite obvious differences, the hands-on and low-tech practice I refer to as "String/Rope/Cord" (S/R/C) has much in common with R/S/L. Both of these start with a geometric premise that mutates into more fluid visions. R/S/L presents illusions of volume posed by flat objects, while S/R/C contrasts apparent overall flatness with actual 3-dimensionality arising from the layering of the see-through, openly woven grids. S/R/C thereby investigates the transformation of the geometric into organic and networked structures. One flows into the other, and back again.
My other current practice is both new and old: In 1969 I did a series of ink paintings on paper. Some of these were fully realized at the time, but I wasn’t quite satisfied with many others. In 2019, I decided to work into these further as 1969/2019, a semi-centennial self-collaborative practice.
Finally, see Chimeras for pieces bridging the different practices just discussed.