One of my favorite art critics was Robert Hughes. His words were cutting, decisive, eloquent, and honest. After watching Hughes’ documentary The Mona Lisa Curse years ago, his words impacted my art practice forever: “If art can’t tell us about the world we live in, then I don’t believe there’s much point in having it. And that is something we are going to have to face more and more as the years go on- that nasty question which never used to be asked because the assumption was always it was answered long ago: What good is art? What use is art? What does it do? Is what is does actually worth doing? And an art which is completely monetized in a way that its getting these days- is going to have to answer these questions or its going to die.”
Art must be an honest reflection and educate by sharing unique perspectives. As I get older, legacy engulfs decorative sensibility. Current political times call for action in diverse and creative forms. Inaction, compliancy, and indifference morphs into hallow creativity. Artistic expression must have some depth and meaning. Upcoming exhibits offer an opportunity to resist through art.
The Barrett Art Center in New York will featured three of my artworks in the We the People: Political Art in the Age of Discord exhibit. Juror Michelle Legro is current editor at Longreads, and worked at Lapham’s Quarterly along with New Republic. In addition, have artworks part of the Art As Protest at the OCCCA (Orange County Center for Contemporary Art) in Santa Ana, California. Juror Tyler Stallings’ resume includes chief curator at the Laguna Art Museum. He is the current artistic director at Sweeney Art Gallery and University of California of California, Riverside.
HELP ME: My art practice investigates diverse perspectives by creating new narratives. The goal is to identify how patterns and symbols of influence impact perception. A standard interior directional sign is repurposed by altering its function. Wood made of plastic with a tree symbol pleads for assistance. The natural environment can never be replaced by a fake one, climate change denial, or greed.
DEMOCRACY: The artwork serves as a marker or warning for Democracy. Chaos, hate speech, and demoralizing rhetoric must never be normalized.
RESIST: Lady Justice is a symbol of impartiality in our judicial system. Standing stoically with a scale in one hand and a sword in the other, she is blindfolded representing that power, status, or money have no influence. A standard braille sign becomes repurposed by altering its function. The art serves as a marker questioning how special interests have weakened the fundamental principles of democracy. Citizens must not blinding follow but question, organize, and demand the highest standards preserving truth and justice.
AMERICA RED, WHITE, and BLUE: The America series investigates diverse cultures and relationships between manmade and natural environments. Fascinated by flight or disorientation, I merge together disparate experiences to create new narratives. Colorplan sheets of cover stock sized 25×38 inches were brought to a gun range. Using a Mossberg 500 shotgun as a vehicle of mark making, paper was placed on a target 7 yards away. The artwork records how patterns of power and inequality can be spread through distance, speed, and the repurpose of intention.
Robert Hughes: “There is virtue in virtuosity, especially today, when it protects us from the tedious spectacle of ineptitude.” Will continue to do my best in 2017 and beyond…