I’ve had a fascination with art since childhood, but that world seemed impenetrably mysterious and strange, without “objective” rationale. I was far more comfortable in the intellectually knowable realms of math and science, where answers are far more black and white. But after achieving my engineering degree, I took a pottery class, which introduced me to a hitherto unexplored garden of delight, where 2D slabs of clay could be shaped and assembled into evocative, aesthetically pleasing 3D forms, with harmonious glaze and texture patterns.
This exploration into handbuilt ceramic forms continued for the next 15 years, as I concurrently evolved from a QC/manufacturing engineer to become an Industrial Designer. After developing my ID skills thru designing a cleaner for InvisAlign’s teeth aligners, and for the European competition to the Swiffer wet mop, I could’ve continued that career and designed far more interesting creations, but I decided I wanted my life energies to contribute to something more meaningful than mass produced consumer products.
In 2005 I left that career behind to devote myself to art. I first spent a year travelling thru Thailand and India, studying meditation and yoga, and absorbing their cultures and their devotional artistic histories, before returning to the US with a desire to express universal truths thru art. At the time, I didn’t even consider myself a sculptor, as almost all of my pieces were functional vessel forms. Then in 2007 I had a major artistic breakthrough, when I closed and stacked the vessel forms I’d been working with, creating my first monumental sculptural piece. The power and presence of this piece, at 7’ tall, literally knocked me backwards, setting me on the artistic path I’ve explored ever since.
Since then I’ve created dozens of monumental sculptures, including several public art installations. Historically ceramic has been infrequently utilized for large sculptures, due to it’s brittleness and low resistance to impact, but my engineering design background has inspired several innovations that open the door to creating massive artworks. I feel incredibly fortunate to possess this unique blend of skills, able to employ both left- and right-brain thinking to contribute to humanity’s unfolding artistic heritage.
I believe we’re on the cusp of a massive blossoming of art into the world, in particular our public spaces. This will transform our experience of the human world (i.e. cities) from one of utilitarian ugliness to intelligent, integrated inspiration. Now that graffiti has got a solid foot in the door, and a significant, sustainable degree of public acceptance, opportunities for 3D works to enter our world are germinating and growing like weeds, breaking thru the established concrete of the art world, subverting the dominant paradigm and opening the floodgates to the oceans of creativity within us.
I began this exploration into the unknown when I took a pottery class after college, in 1990. I quickly found an access to some unique, beautiful expressions in working with slabs of clay – cutting out 2-D shapes then curving and connecting them to make 3-D forms. In designing these pieces I felt like I’d accessed a mental toolbox which had rarely been utilized. Over the next 15 years I developed a large vocabulary of forms, textures, patterns and colors which I employed to create many sculptural vessels, eventually leading to leaving my engineering career in 2004 to devote myself to art.
After travelling for over a year in Thailand and India I returned in 2006 and gave myself over full-time to the artistic process. As aesthetically pleasing as my vessels were, I felt that they did not express the depth and resonance of life that I had discovered. I wanted my work to express truths about our nature, to somehow evoke a sense of spiritual presence, but I was still clinging to the knowable, relatable relationship to my works as vessels. Then in April of 2007 I finally released this and began making monumental sculptural pieces, which evoked a deep response in me and from the world, and set my creativity free in many directions. I’ve since created and installed over 5 dozen major pieces, including 4 public artworks.
I feel that my work has at last begun to truly speak, and that all the ways I’ve grown and evolved in myself are starting to express themselves in my sculptures. There are ideas I’ve had for 10 years that are now coming to fruition, and I look forward to the continuing evolution of this exploration into truth and beauty.