Next weekend, I will have my first show of my collages at a friend's beauty shop here in my hometown of Elwood, Indiana (Event Info). Photos of that show will be up shortly; for now, here is my artist statement:
In high school, I nearly failed an art class because I couldn’t seem to draw a dang realistic conch shell to save my life. Around the same time, I discovered a nerve for poetry, a practice that allowed me to call myself an artist, albeit of the word. My romp in the playground of poetry led me to the Surrealists & the New York School, in whose examples I discovered the most democratic visual artform: the collage. With scissors, glue, & found materials, I was finally able to create my own visual artworks. I dabbled in collage beginning in 2013, mostly as a therapeutic process, a grounding technique for my then-undiagnosed bipolar disorder, something safe & constructive to do among the haze. In the last couple years, it has transitioned into a true artistic practice, always hunting new methods & wild combinations to create pieces that are first & foremost playful & exuberant. These past sixteen months back in my hometown of Elwood, Indiana, I have been utilizing magazines, maps, pamphlets & other materials discovered collected in my grandparents’ home, as well as discarded frames, unhung paintings, & forgotten farm gear, to showcase these methods. Created in the luminous late-night hours, these are pieces of transition--settling in back home, learning to live with a mental illness, moving on without certain loved ones (including my recently passed grandfather). These are collages that speak to the disjunction of my head & the conviction of my heart, in honor of the mess I find & make. Make no mistake: this isn’t fine art; it is alright art, “I’m-doing-just-fine” art.
for Grandpa Fred, Aunt Martha, Cousin Tony
My high school art teacher was the only person that ever gave me a C & you know what, I deserved it, me over there trying to fake my way into a realistic conch shell. Ten years later, I finally found a more democratic visual art medium, thanks to the Surrealists & the New York School poets: the collage. The cutting & pasting happened on-&-off, but this year, greeted by my grandparents' lifetime collection of magazines, maps, & catalogs, a series of late-night energy bursts, & a heated garage, I've been doing the whole montage thing again. Here are my sixteen favorite collages I mustered up this year.