I subscribe to Jasper Johns notebook statement,
Take an object. Do something to it. Do Something else
to it. Do something else to it.
I am now creating small figurative objects in clay,
working by hand in the mediums traditional manner, while
stretching its identity as a contemporary three-dimensional material.
I call them effigies, an academic colleague describes
them as, anthropomorphic figurines, and my granddaughter,
says they are simply, Poppas dumb dolls.
I do not consider myself a ceramist.
For me, clay is direct, tactile, plastic, forgiving- and of course-
and relatively cheap- if you have the energy to go dig for it.
I routinely make a number of successive new forms to ponder and
mentally digest, allowing each figure to suggest and direct the
next. One thing will lead to another and then to another. Depending
upon how the piece speaks to me, I will sometimes paint the figure,
attach something, paste a collage, or physically mount the object
into other context, or just leave it alone. Or.... dump it in
the slop bucket and start all over again.
The direction of my work is self-referential and
reflects many varied life, work, travel, and visual experiences,
mostly good, a few bad. Most of my objects have a story to tell
and usually have a figurative reference, melding the past (sometimes
the primordial or archaic) with current conditions, references,
Kirk Robertson, wrote, upon the occasion of my exhibition at the
Oat Park Art Center, The works are melange of cross cultural
references. Metaphorical allusion to Japanese tomb sculpture,
the Egyptian Sphinx, ancient Olmec heads, Guatemalan textiles,
and European cairn sculptures figure prominently, as do the lives
and martyrdom of selected dead saints, virgin martyrs and holy
hermits. Collectively, they are insightful, decidedly humorous,
slightly irreverent conflations of, and commentary on, the uses
of iconography in art.