My visual art focuses upon uniting the historic connections of socialist activism and black liberation activism in the U.S.A. and, particularly, in Los Angeles. My practice includes extensive historical research, which is then used to produce artworks consisting of flow diagrams as well as text-based work consisting of associative connections to the present.
The flow diagrams are interpretive catalogues of research based political relations that cannot be found through any other single resource or artwork. The visual dynamics are formed around a focal point or coalitions within a broad temporal context that includes our present time.
The associative word constructions are determined by how the intersection of historical tendencies, pivotal dates, or entities may be positioned according to the semantics or poetics of a ‘political line.’ Their labyrinthine visual structures signify our collective struggle to cohere and shape our world.
My graphic and hard-edged style is influenced by Constructivism and revolutionary graphic art. These artworks are iterations on liberation politics and how these movements produce a history that is interconnected and unites us. They are means to understanding our radical political past, and envisioning our shared future.
The “CAB” sculptures reflect my interests and research into Neoclassical and Visionary continental architecture and furniture, and how these grammars filtered into 20th Century American lexicons of auto design, modernist sculpture, sci-fi spacecraft, and military architecture. Generated in the post- 911context, the CABS translate all these influences into new forms. Their hand-polished pearl white exteriors were chosen for a luxury car-like quality, a sense of dignity, a superficial lightness that complements the object's heavy physical weight, and its ability to elicit utopian associations. Each sculpture may be encountered as an expanded or closed object, thus exploring associative realms of the holistic, transforming, or ruptured container. Parallel to auto design prototypes the sculptures suggest functionality and question it at the same time. As unique objects both design prototypes and the CABS are autonomous, existing at the core of any symbolic or potential re-production.
The CABS are the products of our post- 911era, filtering our attitudes into form itself. In a back-to-the-future manner, I was particularly intrigued by Democratic philosophies and the proportional logics of the human body that were embedded into the formal grammars of ancient Greek and Roman Classicism. Classicism and its descendent Neoclassicism have, however, mixed historical legacies. While their forms may embody ideals of honor, civic virtue, and democracy, they also symbolize autocratic political power, personal luxury, and ostentation. Classicism strangely accommodated for all of these philosophical manifestations through its own form of entropy-- the poetic tragedy.
Weekend installation, 2011
The Stealth Space work engages the dialectic between the near and far, and what is mediated versus seen and experienced through the body. Stealth Space is about different perceptions of space and time mediated by the inhabitable Stealth Vehicle sculpture and its related two-dimensional work within the gallery context. The conceptual premise of the Stealth Vehicle sculpture is that any space existing beyond its own physical limits is deemed as ‘outer space’-- hence positioning itself in relation to the sensibility of the gallery as a ‘non-site.’ The image sources for many of the space collages are super-close up photographs of the materials used in The Stealth Vehicle. The gallery, along with a participant’s engagement, acts as an instrument to facilitating connections to the beyond. Stealth Space is grounded in American secular progressivism of the 1960s, Marshall McLuhan’s sensibilities of mediated consciousness, and Space Age adventurism.
Long Beach City College installation detail, 2015