Thursday, July 31, 2008

ARTIST STATEMENT (scroll down to view work)

Artist Statement

Two hallmarks that distinguish humankind from the rest of the animal kingdom remain the ability to make tools and the inclination to reflect on experiences. Too often, however, fast paced life styles with rat race schedules and contrived social roles propel individuals unconsciously through the day, eroding the facility for reflection. As a result, modern men and women seem at times to have lost the capacity for focusing within themselves. “The meter is running”, bottom line mentality permeates Western culture and devalues talking about, and working with unpleasant emotional states. This significant disconnect interferes with opportunities for genuine encounters with others. In place of genuine selves, contemporary men and women tend to assemble a faux self crafted from fashion and powered by quick fix pharmaceutical remedies that fuel a red-hot consumerism. This series of works attempts to focus attention on arresting the temptation to ignore and deny uncomfortable feeling states and at the same time promote discussion in situations that would ordinarily be kept at a superficial level. These crafted wearable sculptures make it difficult to ignore the anxiety generated within the wearer and within the observer. The resulting Edward Scissorhands-type body in the midst of a group also provokes conversation with people encountered in the environment. A more interesting and more genuine dialogue happens, catapulting the experience out of the ordinary space and time of a typical day. This anti-fashion offers an opportunity for empathy, replacing predictable social interchange.

Each device evolved around a specific source of angst, in which an individual remains trapped by a place, time and internal state that is uncomfortable. Depression, social anxiety, feelings of isolation, and aggression plague every life. Unlike Eastern Buddhist Thought that begins with the premise that “life is suffering”, Western contemporary culture seeks to push away pain so these devices go against the grain. By slowing down perception and contemplating the pain, a small positive adjustment is accomplished.


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