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Artist's Statement


I first heard the term unpack in relation to art when, as a visiting artist at my alma mater, one of my former professors used the word to refer to sorting out and analyzing the artistic concepts not otherwise obvious to the viewer when initially viewing a work of art. Admittedly, I remember chafing a bit at the use of the term, dismissing it as snooty art-speak (is art-speak itself a pretentious art-speak term?). From then until now, I have maintained that prejudice only to finally adopt the notion as I have been combing through content for this website. Over the last two decades, I haven't been the type of artist who focusses on one kind of work, one process, or one idea. I fail to tie it all together with words, and certainly cannot claim cohesion otherwise. It really does seem to me that my work is packed up in a bunch of random containers, subject to my creative whims, only holding together when categorized in series developed slowly, over time. While Underlying connections may exist, like my interest in visual, compositional serendipity, or allowing process and systems to generate work, or trying to balance the art object among flat, spatial, and sequential dimensions, the truth of the matter remains: I make the work that I feel like making given the time and resources to do so. One work of art will open possibilities for the next, and the next, and so on, and sometimes old themes recirculate in new ways. Over time, it looks like I'm that guy who likes dots on grids, or tree stumps, or pinhole cameras, but who surprises with the odd landscape, or collage, or portrait. Having said all of that, I can offer some concrete direction for anyone who wishes to unpack all of this work, as follows:

1) Making marks has always, and will likely always matter to me. The way marks develop and appear (syntax) factors heavily in how I situate my own work as well as others'. Organizing those marks also matters to me, though I look for ways to do it such that the outcome offers something unexpected. In other words, I don't often make marks, one in response to another, but rather in response to the dictates of a predesigned system, á la Sol Lewitt.

2) While I often appreciate some works of art that reveal the cleverness of other artists, I will often abandon an idea or even a work in progress if I sense the pressure to be clever about my own work. On the other hand, I can only stomach so much of my own work that isn't based in some sort of concept. This is why I haven't seriously pursued landscape painting. I haven't identified a deeper meaning. Maybe someday.

3) Materials and processes continue to anchor my practice. I can't seem to adopt a fully digitized workflow, though there's not much that I do that doesn't incorporate software somewhere along the line. 

4) A colleague of mine used to say that artists ought to be in the pursuit of truth and beauty. I agree. 

I hope you enjoy looking around here. Send me an e-mail if you have anything to say.

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