Statement for an exhibition in 2002
My work continues to be influenced by ideas
related to poetry, information, massurrealism, the internet and
abstraction. Much of my work this last two years has been involved with
the use of lettering to create abstract
relationships and rhythms. I have been writing - or rather constructing
- a great deal of collage poetry composed of
electronic email and other digital texts found on the internet and
collage sound works composed of electronically
manipulated snippets of sound from a wide variety of sources but most
related to or found on the internet.
In fact the internet is the central theme of much of my activities
though, artistically I do not have much interest in the 'digital' or
high tech look. I am not particularity interested in mechanical forms
of artistic production at this time but still regard the practice of
art making as a spiritually based activity.
What I mean by 'spiritually based' is somewhat ambiguous. It has to do
with one's personal relationship to the life around one and the inner
promptings of the heart - of intuition: of an intuitive process of
working. Collage for me
is the perfect medium for this form of expression because one's
involvement is based in the development of a
sensitivity toward and an appreciation of the materials one is working
with, which in all most all cases are ephemeral
in nature. This fleeting quality of papers and the messages and images
they contain seems a fitting material for the
contemplation of our temporal condition - of our brief sojourn in this
world the world known in the Cabala
as Olahm Ha-Assiah, the material world, the world of shells.
According to this same thought, to make art from these things, to
respect them, to order them, to give them a new
life is a kind of restoration of the world, a way to symbolically have
mercy on the world.
They say that in all things are sparks of the divine and that these
sparks live in these shards, in this world of shells and that these
sparks wish to find their way back to the source from which they
originated and you could say that this is the very light of God
desiring to unify itself. So, as an artist, the development of one's
work is to ever become more sensitive, ever more aware of the world
around one and especially the visual world which is a language in
There are traditions in art of imposing mythic themes upon artistic
expression and there is again, something heroic in the idea but I
propose that everything no matter how humble is a part of this heroic
struggle toward the release from limitation and the embrace of beauty.
Light is the source of all that we know as beautiful and
the absorption in light is to be beauty itself.
So I suppose behind all the struggle; for commercial success, for
dominance, for clarity, for joy, for understanding, for a sense of
fulfillment, there is a drive toward the return; a
return of the sparks of Life toward their source. All of our
struggling and fighting and stress that we suffer are a release of that
energy that wishes to be free and wishes to return. I know this may be
hard to see in my work. But I work in a completely visual manner and
the very act of creating my art is a participation in this struggle.
In Mexico there are a lot of posters in our area for La Lucha which are
the wrestling matches. La Lucha means wrestle and wrestle mean
struggle, A major source material for my work this last couple of
years has been wrestling posters.
I see the term La Lucha as a
very potent symbol of the nature of life
and certainly the life of an artist. There is, in the wrestling
a small area where men dress up in a comic way with their masks and
their personas that they wish to project. There are the voluptuous
bathing suits and the whole thing is a kind of funny spectacle and a
parody of the heroic struggle that the arts often attempt to articulate
but it contains all of the elements - as a performance and a subculture
- that animate the life around us.
Yet in its quirkiness, in its failure
to achieve or even strive for something sublime it makes one
uncomfortable and there is an underlying feeling of distastefulness.
Before, in Picasso's day, he saw the bullfights in this same light of spectacle and
I am sure he felt the metaphoric relationship of the bull fights to the
nature of life in general. Only today, with the wrestling matches, it
is not man against nature but man against man and man as persona and
persona as public spectacle. The same with works of art and with the
work of the artist in general. There is a need to establish a level of
spectacle, of excitement and engagement and everything in the
commercial aspect of the art world is like that to a certain extent. It
is a careful process of the management of perception and of presenting
the work of artists in such a way that the observer is lead to have an
appreciation of the works presented. This is a good thing I think, it
is why we put a frame on things, to give them, not only protection but
a sense of value and dignity and heroic seperation and otherness. The
experience of art is a delicate one. In these times of Blockbuster
movies and fast paced television and commercial advertising and
products, perhaps art is more difficult to see as a spectical.