Much of my artwork is in the realm of miniatures, little diorama worlds I’ve created that exist unto themselves. Yet, I am becoming known for large interdisciplinary installation works as well. It is a direction I intend to continue to pursue. My installation at Seattle’s Suyama Space, Winter 2012, is what looks to be a chaotic maze of antique plumbing run riot. Upon inspection, however, the viewer might notice that the entire assemblage is created from plastic, wood, and foam, painted and treated to fool the eye; Tromp l’oeil. In all my works, large and small, I strive to create a unique, compelling, and immersive experience for the viewer, whether that experience is contained within an enclosure the size of a jewelry box, or a space as large as a room. Within most all of what I do there is a sense of narrative, be it subtle or obvious, plain or opaque. There is a story: something happened here. Someone inhabited–or inhabits–this space. What have they left behind? What can be inferred from the bits of evidence in view? Some stories are mysterious–a riddle. Others contain evidence of some strange purpose. Still others might seem merely absurd. There is as well poetry, nostalgia, the texture of life. Feeling is crucial; call it emotional resonance. As well, I am fascinated with what is not seen. What lies hidden behind those stained walls? Where do those pipes lead to? What lies just beyond that plain door? These places are often familiar; the walls, doors, windows. And yet you may feel a sense of oddness, of tension, of something impending. Perhaps a drama is imminent. Or is the story ended, with emptiness, dust, and a few scattered clues all that remain?I create from scratch virtually everything within my artwork. Over the years this has fostered an intense connection with materials; their limits, possibilities and potential. This applies to my works in miniature, as well as to my larger works and installation projects. The approach I have chosen is enormously time-consuming, yet is vastly important to the concept, intention, outcome, and physicality of what I create. It’s part of the challenge I’ve set for myself as a maker of things. Clearly, it would be simpler to merely purchase old plumbing ﬁxtures, a door, a window–whatever it might be–from salvage, or miniature items from a dollhouse store, but where would the magic be in that? I have long relied on this approach and these skills to fashion a miniature turned table leg, light bulb, clock case, trim moulding, piece of furniture, cracked and peeling wall–whatever is required to complete the illusion. Lately I have been consumed with the challenge of having my work be more immersive and interdisciplinary in scope by integrating sound, lighting, motion and electronics.
Photograph : Ambrotype by Daniel Carrillo