Early in my career, living and working in downtown Detroit, inspired my deconstructivist methods for creating art. The Cass Corridor art community of the 1970s, of which I was a part of, used found objects and other non-traditional materials, tearing things apart and reconstructing them. These are processes that reflected the reality of this city during this time, and still does today. This period had a profound influence on my approach to making art.
I began to investigate the influence of my surroundings on my daily life, and my work intends to communicate this relationship. I spend a lot of time drifting between reality and abstraction — in my life, and in my work — looking for ‘missing links’ or symbols to explain my experience. For instance, in my welded steel sculptures, positive silhouetted forms often represent humanity; negative cuts can represent architecture, environmental space and its baggage. Welded steel works well for this, it takes me physically and spatially into symbolic metaphor — different forms connect creating different stories. There’s also a specific kind of permanency that comes with the way welded steel withstands the elements, giving extended life to the work.
I work in many different mediums, and these mediums are all intertwined. People call me a sculptor because I can weld metal, but many of my ideas for sculpture come from paintings and drawings. I think I am an artist first, who paints and draws and makes sculpture.