All my life I have been collecting things – objects other people find obsolete, useless, broken. I would take them and create collections and form groupings. When I found an antique optical case, I filled it with found objects no bigger than a coin or token, approximately 1 inch by 1 inch. As it slowly filled with small found objects there was a gestalt effect.
The first professional art I noticed was the ‘ pop art ‘ of Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenberg. They created unique imagery using mundane objects.
I attended art school and studied drawing, painting, sculpture, and graphic design. I also took art history classes where I observed the reusing of ideas and how technology advances become a driving force in the world of art. As I completed my research for my MA work I revisited the work of artists in the pop art movement and it confirmed the use of the ‘latest’ technology influence on artistic endevors.
In the real world I became a professional graphic artist, eventually becoming a Senior Art Director at Anheuseur Busch Inc. There I had access to the latest technologies in the art world.
Independently I continued developing my personal art practice. I combined my passion for collecting and assembling to create sculptures. As time went on and I grew as an artist, I learned to incorporate the latest tools of technology for manipulation and distribution.
The method I’ve employed to create prints involves collecting objects then forming an aesthetically pleasing assemblage. I photograph the piece then digitally manipulate the image. When it is complete, I print.
For the past couple of years I have been in Italy hunting the discards of the Florentines. They often put their discards around the dumpsters to assist collectors, giving a communal feel to the hunt.
I have created small ‘table top’ assemblages. When they are finished I put them in the ‘cube of obscurity’ – a five sided white cube made of white polyester with an opening for the camera . The white environment gives a controlled and consistent lighting.
To digitally manipulate the image I use various programs on my Mac OSX computer such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop with some additional effects using Kia Power Tools. As I work on the desired composition and design I look at lines, contrasts and color shades. When I am satisfied with the result, I will make a print. I often use a local print shop when making large-scale paper prints, but I have had opportunities to make large-scale prints on canvass.
In the past two years as I completed the MA program in Digital Arts I have been able to explore how the history of technology and cultural environment can be utilized by an artist – with a close look at the American Pop Art movement. I was able to incorporate what I learned through my studies into my personal art practice and it has given me insights into my particular process and product.
As I look to the future, I know I will continue to work with found objects, while continuing to learn more about the distribution paths of various resources of trash and recycling material. I want to expand my resource base by exploring the different recycle centers and trash dumps. Where are all the dead bicycles and where is that legendary field of dead scooters?
The “lean toward green” has brought social attention to recycling and reusing objects. I see this movement with the eye of an artist. One can already see the green movement is being reflected in efforts from folk art to architectural/industrial design concepts. Working in contemporary art, I find this awareness a challenge to work towards furthering understanding as I try to create an aesthetic acceptance of “trash”.
Although I have exhibited and have pieces on permanent display, I hope to further my relationships with the contemporary art galleries locally. I also want to have more exposure and involvement on the Internet. I believe I can use a web page, YouTube, and a blog perhaps on the lines of the one I learned to use in this MA program.
I plan to install and exhibit work on a gonzo/street level.
My largest project to date is the one which is currently in progress for the show with the MA program in Digital Arts . Mr. Wire versus Jugman/sig. Filo Metallico vs. sig. Plastica. They are to be placed in and along the Arno River, documented digitally, shared in physical exhibits and on the Internet.
I want to continue to enlarge the scale of my projects with larger pieces, which will require larger studio space and more storage.
I have two short-term specific goals. First I want to finish the course ‘Introduction to Photojournalism: Digital Documentation’ that I have been developing.
Secondly I would like to find a proper avenue to share this course and other ideas for courses that participating in the MA in Digital Arts Program has given seed to.
I also want to begin work on my new project ‘Going Green with Renewable Resources’. This will include more research of sustainable materials data and generating concepts that utilize this data in artistic and educational manner.
My future goals specifically include finding a larger studio that is more of an industrial space with high ceilings and easy access for loading and unloading larger resources. This would facilitate more 3D sculptures and larger scale projects, whilst continuing my work with 2D prints. I would also purchase a truck or Ape to use in collecting larger resources and continue to keep up with the latest digital photography computer programs.
As stated in my project proposal and have tried to achieve in my personal art practice, I want my art to continue to be part of the cultural environment while employing the latest technologies.
Please click on the menu item Journal to view my Reflective Journal