My sculptures subtly arouse concern with visual prods into contemporary issues. I use a narrative of social engagement to generate discussion with my constructions. Current images comment on ecological destruction.
I enjoy the physicality of materials. I am fascinated by found matter; following that inclination, I am presently using twigs from neighboring gardens and parks to construct fictions of trees, stumps and logs. I usually do not alter the natural color of the sticks. I glue them to an armature and complete the attachment with an overlay of transparent matte medium. The placement of the cross-cut sticks forms a veneer with a pattern where the growth rings would appear. Pattern ritualizes the form allowing modifications which embellishes the original observation from which it emerged. Swirls and concentric curves are apparent reminiscent of goddess culture motifs.
Like human skin, bark conforms to a tree. Like skin, tree bark heals with scars. The end grain of logs notes the distortions in the growth rings resulting from injury-a callus. It is almost like the swelling around a cut in human flesh. In the sculpture, the shed epidermis became a pre-historical human signature: hand motifs, man’s mark of impact. Will we support nature’s provision of trees as they are the source for human shelter, oxygen, and avian refuge?
I was born and raised, through my teenaged years, in New Orleans. It framed my vision of life. It was and continues to be a place of extremes: beauty and decay, religion and ritual, custom and iconoclasm. From that experience I acquired an excitement for visual matters: colors, forms and even artifacts. Having lived on the border with Mexico for ten years changed my view of contemporary culture and our collective social responsibility.
At the time of the “9/11” bombing of the Twin Towers, NYC, my sojourn as a professor at the University of Texas in Brownsville on the Mexican border altered my aesthetic. Viewing the ambient drug wars, the desperation of immigrants, and the collapsing Mexican democracy due to endemic political corruption and perceiving the curious lack of commitment for dialogue to offer solutions for the growing racial division, wealth inequality, and environmental decline in my own nation, I changed my insular focus of my art to embrace more topical issues.
I taught art in four colleges and universities in various parts of the US for thirty-three years. During that time, I also aggressively pursued the development and exhibition of sculptures designed and produced at those venues.