Functioning as sculptural objects, my flat painted characters become the subjects of a scene. I photograph these figures (those who inspire me, collaborators) installed in different environments. Showing both the sculptures and the photos, I end up making work about representation and fantasy.
To experience the tableaux in person is to understand the sculptural nature of the wooden cutouts. My figures are more like props or toys than “finished” works, as I repurpose them over and over in new spaces.
My first tableaux, 3 years ago, involved driving 20 paintings to New Orleans and submerging them in a swimming pool, which only my assistants had the opportunity to see. Understanding from this experience that interacting with the sculpture was part of my aim, I tried to expose the act of making as the subject itself.
This led to the development of my Camera Obscura for the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art. This format allowed me to exhibit the sculptures outdoors and have the audience move through the installation while being observed voyeuristically by viewers inside the Camera. The natural projection of the sculptures occurred upside down, a visual abstraction as a reflection on the experience of seeing.
Recently I have begun to incorporate living bodies inside my artworks as pieces of a sculptural performance. “The Birth of the Minotaur” questions vulnerability and sexual power by posing a nude human of either sex within a wooden bull. The title hearkens to the Greek myth, in which Daedalus was commissioned to build a sex-suit for Queen Pasiphae to copulate with a bull her husband refused to sacrifice.