The culmination of over three years of research and art-making, clear, hold, build, has been installed at the JD Brooks gallery at Fairmont State University. I’m excited to finally see the work all together, and look forward to seeing how it’s received by the public. A big thanks to everyone who has helped me along the way, and for the opportunity to exhibit at Fairmont State University. Below is the synopsis of the exhibition, giving some details behind my thought processes and why I’m working the way I’m working, and making what I’m making. Please join me February 12th @6pm for the closing reception-
“My research as an artist targets both the controversial and formal aspects of who we are as individuals and as a working collective in contemporary society. The work is an investigation into materials and processes, and how these elements work with each other in the realm of industry, structure, aesthetics, and abstraction. My constructions often reference the figure as a human, individual, or element within our social networks. My continuing experiences as a creative maker give me a unique perspective on the importance of different construction-grade materials, and how our dependence on function and structure can be a conceptual and aesthetic venue. I am also attempting to show that the utilization of these materials and processes are necessary within our society, can enter political discourse, and yet are rarely relished as an artistic edifice.
My recent and continuing research into American policy decisions and their broad implications on our citizenry and beyond, has been a fertile conceptual and aesthetic repository. clear, hold, build is a direct reference to contemporary US military counter-insurgency strategies, but focuses in on the continuing degradation of our domestic infrastructure through a series of free-standing and wall mounted works. These emblems of infrastructure are juxtaposed against imagery of, or references to, military machinery or intelligence technology, which all to often dominates our budgetary priorities. The need to “take back” and “re-build” our critical civil engineering components such as bridge hinges, support girders, and highway systems that are often ignored is the nexus of the exhibition. The scale of the free-standing work, with subtle combinations of weathered paint, oxidized alloys, natural and treated wood, and industrial fasteners make the pieces approachable, yet dense and stoic, while the wall-mounted precision road sign installations offer a more cold and calculated interpretation of our current domestic infrastructure crisis.”
1. “Life Changing” (Iowa) 2015 18”x24” high definition vinyl waterjet print on steel support structure
1. “Enjoy The Show” (Missouri) 2015 18”x24” high definition vinyl waterjet print on steel support structure
3. “Native America” (Oklahoma) 2015 18”x24” high definition vinyl waterjet print on steel support structure
4. “Feels Like Coming Home” (Mississippi) 2015 18”x24” high definition vinyl waterjet print on steel support structure
5. “America Starts Here” (Pennsylvania) 2015 18”x24” high definition vinyl waterjet print on steel support structure
Our Sculpture program recently proposed and had approved, an on-campus sculpture park to allow for the display of medium to large-scale outdoor public artwork. I tasked the advanced sculpture students to help design and build the forms, reinforce, and then pour the concrete pads. With the success of the initial two pads, we hope to install 6-8 more within the next year.
Progress shots of the second hinge piece titled “seized”. This was the first time casting concrete in a long time, and of course I tried a new recipe. (meh on the mix, don’t know if the perlite weight reduction was worth the sloppiness/pitting and airholes on some of the surfaces). All in all, the piece is coming along the way I wanted, so thats a plus. I’m about to have the road signs cut out on the waterjet, will put up some images when i get them.
This piece is an abstracted interpretation of how Philadelphia ironworkers, part of the local “401” trade union, could look if they became the construct of their actions on site. Better documentation will be coming, these shots are from my studio during construction and the initial install in a small, local gallery in Morgantown.