Artist Statement

Posted Oct 7, 2014
Last Updated Sep 17, 2020
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 repetition of simple patterns give rise to an enigmatic 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 various flora and fauna onto canvas, my work instead, recreates the structures found in nature by distilling their essence down to an abstracted form and then creating sculptures similar to those forms. Understanding the physicality and how form and function are intertwined in nature is the philosophical foundation from which all of my sculptures are created. I want to know how things are built and not just what they look like.

My use of unconventional materials and various techniques for creating my work are groundbreaking and unique. 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. This gives my work a strange vibrancy and natural blending of tones. 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. Fire also plays a large role in some of my work. I use fire to create spontaneous and organic shapes. This helps keep my work from becoming too formulaic or geometric in form. My work also explores how beauty and complexity emerge from the repetition of simple shapes, for many of my sculptures are created by combining thousands of individual pieces to create complex organic forms. Some of the unconventional materials I use are: cardboard, egg cartons, dryer sheets, yarn and other textiles, cardboard tubes, gravel, Styrofoam, Polyfil, sand, salt, various spices, quinoa, and 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, creates conversations about waste, explores the possibilities of sustainable practices in art, 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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