Artist Statement

I’ve always considered the knowledge I gained through my experience working in the construction industry to be a support system for my work. The question, how does one thing affect another, is ever present in bridge building and construction. The engineering and fabrication of multiple parts that reciprocate with elements such as weight and tension contributes to a bridge's ultimate usable and safe function. The framework that holds all of these elements together is a designed plan. The formal and structural concerns become inseparable, as a sculptor this sensibility is naturally carried over. Looking at a framework in an experiential way, I attempt to foster this by analogically re-framing the boundaries between the artist, object, and viewer while leaving the significance of the experience somewhat elusive. What frames this experience may not be a singular material, structure, or method and it can be built from an investigation of using synthetic and natural materials together to create a juxtaposition that potentially de-constructs their apparent materiality. In my work, I often use materials such as sand, concrete, wood, plastic and steel, to create forms and components that simulate their connotations, yet reveal an internal vulnerability, which often opposes those connotations. Using a personal narrative or a collective metaphor as a jumping point for building form, I deliberately distort the physical or visual structure of their content in an attempt to challenge response within the viewer to contemplate the relationship between the sculpture’s aesthetic form and conceptual function and the joined affect they produce.

Throughout most of my life the importance of how my hands intercede with taking things apart, reconfiguring and putting them back together has always been a defining characteristic in my artistic practice. In my process, I mix and unmix, trying to isolate ideas, with concepts and attempt to cook up new things. Rooted in the interruptions of life and how I make the metaphorical connections, my recent work delves into my own experiences and memories. Over the last few years I have been constructing a very personal and formal language based in materials, themes and frameworks that ultimately function as a system of irregular similarities. Through a process of deconstruction and reassembly the sculptures that emerge show the residual marks of progression while inverting the conventional anatomical hierarchies of drawing in space. I work from memoir, stories of growing up on the farm, my years working construction on the road, the evenings spent as a security guard in a mental hospital and my life now in State College. Even to this day, I work my studio as I worked on the farm or job site, with rigor and an invention out of necessity.

As distinctive as the narrative dialogue of a literary work, I see my sculptures serving as the characters in the discourse of my own life's story. Intermittently occupying the various positions of both liberty and servitude, these physical and conceptual models of observation and artistic experimentation have become the framework of my artistic practice. Symbolic of the act of collision and exchange, these pieces are constructed with a process of refinement and restraint and I look at these pieces as reflections of how interruptions are exposed from the inside out.