Before all of this design and development stuff I went to RISD to be an artist. For many reasons I gave up the practice but over the last 10 years or so I’ve occasionally jumped back into it, producing concentrated series of works.
I’ve tend to work with boxes and other packing material that I run across in my daily travels as an ordinary consumer. I was first drawn to these materials as a reaction to my own work that I was making at the time that was very much in the vein of 60's modernism like Frank Stella's stripe paintings etc. The work was very hermetic and sealed off for interpretation and ultimately that was unsatisfying to me, it just felt small. The boxes represented a geometry and form created through their utility, a "real" geometry. It’s through these very base, materials that I try to keep the work, and myself, connected and relevant to the rest of the world…while at the same time staying in a dialog with this western modernist tradition that also shapes my art psyche.
I use the materials in a variety of ways, either recombining them as printing plates, or tracing templates for drawing, or even sometimes through photography. Through all of those processes I’m circling around a few core themes and hopefully expanding the meaning of the work.
The images and objects fall into this line of western modernist art but have evolved to embrace a complexity and specificity that modernist art usually does not. In some ways they aren’t even really abstract images, they are very literal recordings of my own consumerist 21st century existence.
The overriding theme in the work is transcendence and transformation. Base materials are used to generate new, often elevated meaning by referencing long held tropes of art and religion. The images transcend their original purpose of holding and conveying goods to a new purpose of being filled with meaning and interpretation such as joy, anger and/or reverence.
All of this is an exploratory practice to stop and consider these items that represent so much gratification and horror. They represent our shampoo, iPods, snacks etc. and the price we pay for them in our landfills, recycling centers, the energy we use to create and destroy them and the sacrifice we make for the lives we live.