SEMESTER SUMMARY: Bears and Sharks


This semester was like a bear wrapped in a shark.  I found myself in a constant state of urgent discomfort, and when I was not, my work was just process—no significance—just a physical interaction with medium, nothing more.  It is while I work through this particular process that I arrive in a place where significant work comes forward.

I started the semester studying about sculpture and art within the past one hundred years and continued this study throughout.  My influences are many right now; I am heavy into Pollock, Banksy, Warhol, Rauschenberg, Johns, Oldenberg, Manzoni and Hansen to name a few, in no particular order.

My original intention for this semester’s studio work was to create collages and combine pieces.  This did not happen. Instead I made maquettes, large-scale paintings, soft sculptures; and, wrestled with and ultimately worked-out some conceptually challenging ideas.  I am finding it difficult to focus on any one area.  There are so many different ideas to explore, varying levels of knowledge to acquire, and mediums available to express the vast amount of information I am taking in and attempting to cull-out, all in order to produce something intellectually sustainable for my thesis.

I have entered an area of artistic practice that tends to be quite conceptual, philosophical and, as often as possible, humorous.  It is also very isolated…extremely isolated.  As I am weathering the storms of my mind and studio, I find my expression to be even more formidable than before.  Some work is so clear and other work is still so preliminary.  It is a choice.  Which work is most important to me? Do I even matter?  These are the constant questions I run into.  I cannot explain the vastness of the subject matter I have been exploring.  I just know something is there, something strong.

I still have to practice to balance the integration between my professional life as an artist and my life as a graduate student. Some of my current work feels like it is a lock, and other work is still floating while I try to tether it to a contextual complexity deemed fit to its very existence. Only then will this work have fully realized itself into this ambiguous place within a contemporary framework.  I just have to get it there.

This is where I have become stuck…all semester. Despite creating a large volume of work during this time, I have been stuck between ambiguity, contradiction, artifice, and a sculptural place. I am seriously interested in social economics, issues revolving around education and demographic inequalities and just as obsessed with artificiality.  The issue I find is the choice, the focus.  I start out with ideas and they just continue to morph.  I was told by a professor to explore this semester and that is exactly what I did.  Now I need to focus and chose my path.



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