Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Colocolo & Caracal
Wood/foam/metal/cloth/found objects
20" x 16" x 21"

When I first started making objects, just about five years ago, I would create detailed sketches and drawings of each piece-then I would follow them closely until completion of the piece. That went on for a while.

However, over the last couple of years, I’ve gotten away from making preliminary sketches. I have come to really enjoy the unintentional and unlikely results that I end up with from creating creatures without a specific outcome in mind. I have an idea to start with, but it is broad, like wanting to capture the pose of a running antelope-but that’s it. No thought of how things will be constructed or what materials will be used.

Hoping to keep the work fresh, I make it up as I go along in the construction process. (It also depends on what recent finds I have located.) This most recent piece, called Colocolo and Caracol, started off as a vague idea- two cats hanging out. One would be larger than the other. I wanted them to have their own area to live in so I made the rusted metal pedestal. (This piece is part of the installation, Creatures of Curiosity, which I will be assembling at SOFA in Chicago in November with Jane Sauer, my Santa Fe gallery dealer. She has given me about a 10 foot long wall to create what ever I want for this show. What an amazing dealer!)

Once I build the two creatures, I had this idea that they would be facing each other, kind of like and Egyptian frieze, a more formal pose. When I tried them this way, they looked disjointed and like they were living in different worlds. Luckily when I asked my friend Audrey(who also happens to be my wife) what she thought, she changed them immediately. They suddenly became connected, almost like parent and child. Then my friend Bob saw the piece and changed their position on the pedestal a little more, and like magic in front of my eyes, they suddenly came alive. Their relationship is intimate, secure…even protective. But each of them has that inner strength that cats can often project.

I’m amazingly lucky to have friends that put up with my ‘artist’ personality and especially that they are such good critiques and have an ‘eye’ for looking at my work. You can tell that I’m a strong believer in getting helpful feedback.