The Genesis of a New Body of Work

I haven’t made a body of work for the past 10 years. This past decade has been a kind of walk-about so to speak where I tried different careers, started a family, and lived abroad in Asia. But of course I never stopped thinking of new artistic endeavors. I just wasn’t setup to pursue my ideas whether it was due to lack of work space, time, finances, a need to change my kids diapers, or a mixture of them all.

But this time while back in the USA I had an idea that would allow me to engage in  my favorite material, clay; and one of my favorite processes, photography.

These images mark the Genesis of hopefully a new, complete body of work. The end product will be, for now anyway, large scale high definition images of works made in clay that are taken on sites related to the object(s) and ideas as they continue to form.


Chris Burden Dies At 69: Artist -or- Lunatic?


Art is said to represent both contemporary culture and the one to come. Chris Burden’s portfolio seems to support this argument.

His career launched as a graduate art student from UC Irvine after his performance “Shoot” where his friend shot him in the arm with a .22 rifle in an art gallery, in front of an audience, as an exploration of “the aesthetic experience of suffering.” During this period of his life, Burden was also simultaneously addressing cultural desensitization to violence as a result to insistent and apathetic news coverage of the ravages of the Vietnam War.


Burden said regarding “Shoot” that that performance was a “criticism of vicarious experience”… “because most people’s knowledge”… “is only second hand through the media.” (Avalanche 8, Summer/Fall, 1973.)

How much more so today?

I wonder how a 25-year old Burden might address the cultural issues of today with our vicarious and voyeauristic social media laden lifestyle and integration? Might he get a friend to shot him with a gun printed via 3D printer and upload it to YouTube and ask all to join in by having their friends shot them and uploading their videos? 

We might say Burden was a masochistic psycho dubbing as an artist, but let’s not overlook that his work also reveals something true about us culturally, for better or worse. There was an audience that gathered to view Burden’s “Shoot” that knowing what was going to commence chose to not stop it.

Just a month ago on an art commentary blog, Art Lark, “Shoot” was referenced specifically as a work that revealed “the weakness of human psychological and moral condition” of our culture during that time. 

Has our culture changed much since the 70’s? 

In some ways, yes. But philosophically, not so much. We’re actually living out the seeds sown during that time now in the present.

Art leaves one thinking. While I might not be attracted to Burden’s portfolio in an aesthetically pleasant sense, it does cause me to stop and consider what it reveals about our culture and the direction it is going, something I can only hope my work will do. 

May he rest in peace and God be with his family.

Christo’s New Endeavor: “Walking On Water”

I was fortunate enough to have witnessed one of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s monumental works, The Gates, in 2005 in Central Park, New York City while just an eager little art major in college. It blew my mind as well as opened it to new understandings and possibilities of the art making process.

The Gates

This next work of his will be the first monumental piece since The Gates in 2005 and since the death of his wife and partner in the creative process, Jeanne-Claude, in 2009.

Titled, Walking On Water, it is estimated to cost up to $10,000,000 using 70,000 square meters of fabric and 200,000 floating cubes in the islands of Monte Isola and San Paolo of Italy.  According to The Economist, this project only took a year to get approval whereas some of his others have taken decades.


I call that commitment to the craft.

Full Story


Bisphenol -A (aka, BPA)- Free? 

Bread & Paper Clips 

 I was walking to the university I am currently teaching at today and noticed the plethora of beautiful things I would love to gather and bring back to my studio, but something stopped me, a realization.

For some reason I have never really taken notice of all the plastic in my life until recently. Knowing there are harmful chemicals in a lot of it such as BPA which has been shown to cause cancer and rapid hormone growth in kids leading to things like early puberty, I cannot continue to justify continuing to use plastic, at least not for serving food. We have a one year old who is in the process of having her plastic removed. It’s a huge job because BPA-Free baby food products are very difficult to find, especially where we live in Asia.

This work is more or less a meditative piece contemplating the dangers of common materials such as BPA-based plastic and trying to orchestrate a plan to truly become BPA-Free. The bread represents a basic necessity of life, food, whereas the paper clips represent a dichotomy in how we use them as a safeguard to keep our one year old out of kitchen floor cabinets that are full of potentially BPA laden plastic bought in a previous life.

Here’s a link to begin your own research on BPA.

Aesthetic Experiential Sciences: Walking Stick Series (cont’d)

Experience. What is it? What do we hope to gain from so called good experiences? Said good experiences is a product of consumerism isn’t it? Ever enter a drawing to win a really nice vehicle? What a good experience it would be to win right? Well, I entered one over Christmas in a mall during our visit back in the U.S. during Christmas and I received a phone call on my Skype number yesterday to inform me my name had been drawn for a free trip to Jamaica. 

Not really the experience I was hoping for but I’ll take it, possibly. I learned the business displaying the vehicle wasn’t a dealership but rather a travel agency. Guess I better start reading the fine print huh? They are hoping to provide me, allegedly, with a good experience so I will use them when we plan vacations in the future. For their sake, I hope they don’t rely on credit card numbers because my family and I only use cash.

Walking Stick is a study on orchestrating subtle, or rather, good aesthetic experiences and paradoxes by situating a cast iron stick in settings both complimentary and out of context as a way to represent that despite ones philosophy, we all desire beauty and typically pursue it via aesthetic experience as a means of attaining some degree of fulfillment beyond routines we bound ourselves by.

Stick & Stone Alone In A Cold Communist Country

Stick & Stone Sitting Along Lead Based Painted Wall For Whose Sake?

Sometimes Things Work Out Better When They Are Turned Upside Down

The Power Of Placebo 

Aesthetic Experiential Sciences: Walking Stick Series

Why is that guy walking around with a stick?

Have you ever meditated on the intricate details of everyday objects such as those found in nature?

As the world gets increasingly separated from nature via urbanization and city development, we lose sight and touch of something greater and beyond ourselves.

While we might look at a skyscraper and think, “amazing,” there is nothing man has made that is as detailed as what God has made. Just take a look at a stick.

(cast iron stick, 15″ long)



Modern Feminism

Aired on BBC Newsnight, this performance was articulated as being “irreverent feminism.”

I understand art makes a statement, which gives “creative license” to manifest one’s concept in any number of ways, but look, modernism, post-mod, post-post-mod, post-post-mod-mod, however you wish to categorize it, it is the same. Voidism, the procedure, action, and/or representation of an idea which lacks transcendent purpose, acute craft in its manifestation, and/or relevance to contemporary application.

This, performance reminds me of a Bible verse actually that I believe sheds light on why shallow and deceptive adherents of “art” believe what they believe about, art.

…”just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind”… (Romans 1:28)

Enjoy the, show: