Artist Statement

Posted Oct 7, 2014
Last Updated Aug 10, 2017
I am an artist who lives and works in Cleveland Ohio. I was born in Denmark but have lived in the United States for most of my life. I am a graduate of Antioch College. I am also an Army veteran who served in S. Korea and in the 82nd Airborne Division.

Nature presents itself in a dizzying array of organic shapes and structures. From the graceful spiral arms of galaxies to the nebulous webs created by tree roots, to the hexagonal geometry of honeycomb – the structures of nature are wondrous creations where beauty meets function, and the repeating of simple patterns enigmatically give rise to complexity. The main emphasis of my artwork is to recreate the grandeur and complexity of natural structures. Whereas some artists paint two-dimensional representations of bushes, flowers, or other naturally occurring elements onto canvas, my work instead, recreates such naturally occurring structures through the crafting of organic sculptural forms. My work also explores how beauty and complexity emerge from the repetition of simple forms.

My unconventional forms are matched if not exceeded by my use of unconventional materials and technique. Most of my work is breaded with oatmeal. The oatmeal along with sand and plaster gives my work a textural quality not seen in other works of sculpture. The oatmeal also acts as a sponge that soaks up the various dyes I use to obtain my colors. This gives my work a strange vibrancy and natural blending of tones, as opposed to the plastic feel acrylic paint would give were I to use that as an external covering. Many of my organic looking sculptures are created through a method of layering. This is similar to the way rings are formed on a tree, the difference being that my sculptures grow vertically from a “genetic blueprint” as opposed to trees which grow outward from an inner ring. Another technique I use so as a to get spontaneous and erratic organic shapes is to use fire to shape my smaller pieces. These pieces are then combined by the thousands to create complex organic forms. This technique imprints nature onto my work by capturing the windy conditions during the moment of creation. The windier the day, the more chaotic my individual pieces look. And lastly, my artwork pushes the boundaries of unconventional materials by using such materials as: cardboard, egg cartons, dryer sheets, yarn and other textiles, cardboard tubes, railroad gravel, sand, salt, and of course oatmeal.

In summation, my work grapples with how complexity is created out of the repetition of simple shapes, showcases the structural qualities inherent in nature, is a study in the use of unconventional materials, and lastly, explores through the repetitive process of labor, the relationship between monotonous work, skill, and the haphazard and organic ways in which forms take shape.

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