Sunday, September 28, 2014

New Work for Kansas

When I first conceived of this show at the Lawrence Art Center, before any work was actually made, I thought it would be a continuation of my then current studio practice of making various animals in varied contexts. After making the “Hare Muzzle” piece, the original concept became background noise and this current body of work took shape.

As a University professor, I teach my students to make their artistic discovery in the process. One can think of and imagine ideas but until there’s haptic activity, where the hand, material and mind are activated together, one cannot know what might be discovered.

When making the “Hare Muzzle” piece, I began to recall stories from childhood, that if a master has a chicken-killing dog, one could strap the killed chicken to the dog’s neck until the dead chicken rots off. I have asked around and it seems that it’s not entirely uncommon to do this and someone recently confessed to witnessing this practice and confirmed its usefulness.

Tension and gravity has, for a long time, been a driving consideration in my work. I use Tromp l’oeil elements such as:  strapping, knotting and fleshiness, and a strong commitment to craftsmanship as a vehicle to support the conceptual in my work. In this case, the idea of strapping various animals to dogs seemed like the perfect marriage of my existing technical repertoire with this new concept.

"Hold It"

"Frog Muzzle"

"Hare Muzzle"

"That will Teach You"

"Prehensile Muzzle"

"Apex Tourniquait"


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