work is inspired by historical ceramics as well as the
flotsam and jetsam of contemporary culture. Moche ceramics
of Pre-Columbian Peru are a powerful influence, both technically
complex and sculpturally compelling. The richness embodied
by these ancient clay vessels drives me to make work that
is emotive, reflective of my world-view, and visually
demanding of the viewer. Moche artists drew from every
facet of life: plants, animals, architecture, the human
body, the divine and the mundane of existence. I strive
to work in this manner as well, combining objects and
forms from the diverse culture and society in which I
live, the United States of America in the 21st century.
Initially, this approach resulted in vessels derived from
street trash such as mufflers and styrofoam cups, buoy
forms on the Delaware River, and the urban architecture
In recent years my work has become less vessel-oriented,
though research into historical ceramics has continued
to feed my ideas. Often my forms will seem to suggest
a specific function or use, but the use is ambiguous;
a hybrid of the known world with a less concrete reality.
This newer work also draws from a catalogue of forms that
are suggestive in nature. In Philip Rawson's book Ceramics,
he refers to memory traces, and the power of forms to
evoke thoughts and memories. This is similar to the way
we associate colors with emotional states or meanings.
By incorporating forms that are symbolic and suggestive,
I attempt to engage the viewer in a process of decoding.
Most recently, I have been intrigued by art that synthesizes
the human, physical body with the mechanics of the manmade
world. This has led me to research the work of Raoul Hausmann,
Max Ernst, and Rebecca Horn. Each of these artists reference
the body and its uneasy union with the artificial or mechanical.
Symbolic forms that I find particularly compelling include
the hand and objects used as surrogates for the body:
bottle nipples, respirator bags, sex toys, prosthetics.
The hand exemplifies the human presence, while the other
objects, to varying degrees, distance us from the most
human of activities. These forms, as manufactured objects
replicating natural functions, act as substitutes for
nature. I find this composite of the physical body and
the synthetic world simultaneously fascinating and frightening.
Through this line of inquiry I am conscious of the connecting
threads that link the many disparate elements of history,
culture, and what it is to be human.