“At first glance my art may resemble archetypal forms, but a closer investigation may lead to more questions than answers about its provenance. My hope is that each individual observer will ask questions based on their own experience and thereby begin to discover more about art, life, nature, and themselves.”
Where are you from?
I was born in New York City and grew up on the north shore of Long Island.
When did you first realize you wanted to devote your life to creating sculpture?
I had “re-invented” myself career-wise several times over the course of my adult life but a constant through that was my love of sculpture. I started sculpting when I was about ten years old, after my father brought me to the studio of Jacques Lipschitz in Hastings in Hudson, NY. I spent hours talking with, watching, and helping Jacques in his studio and fell in love with the idea of creating my work. It took me 40 years to find the courage to create art as a professional endeavor although my passion for it never waned.
Where do you find inspiration?
When I first began creating my art I was totally mystified as to what I should be making and struggled to find inspiration. I looked through book after book of Henry Moore, Isamu Noguchi, and Barbara Hepworth and as if by magic, my early work looked like an amalgamation of these artists. I remember reading a quote from Chuck Close where he said, “Inspiration is for amateurs” and being deeply offended by it, as I was struggling to find my own voice. But over time and countless hours in the studio I began to understand what Chuck had meant and soon I embraced that thought and also adhered to another quote from Richard Serra in which he said, “Work comes from work.” At this point in my practice, inspiration comes from the investigations that I am pursuing—there is no shortage of ideas only a shortage of time to realize all of them.
Greatest discovery as an artist?
Perhaps the greatest discovery that I have made living the life of an artist is how it has affected my view of the world. I remember as a young man looking at people walking past me on the streets of New York City and thinking that they are really not very attractive—now I look at everyone and think how beautiful they are, and that feeling of finding beauty in all things: objects, people, and nature are pervasive in my life. I would also say that I find myself more empathetic to people’s feelings than I ever had felt in my earlier life. Perhaps this is the result of getting older and finally growing up a bit – but I do attribute a lot of this to the life I have created for myself in the arts.
You have been working on the series Liquid State for some time now, can you explain the concepts you are pursuing and what you’re still searching for or striving to achieve in this ongoing body of work?
I think the Liquid State series is about pushing boundaries and the questions surrounding that: How far can you distort geometry and still have a form look and feel geometric? How far can you push a material like stainless steel in the fabrication process? How can you make a static form appear to have movement? Can liquidity be about the movement of light rather than of matter? And about a dozen other questions—I think the series will end when I get tired of asking these questions, or it will morph into another series and level of questions that interest me.
Is there anything specific you feel you are hiding and/or revealing in your work/practice?
I try to hide nothing in my work and my life, but I am aware that everyone that is interested in looking at either will come away with their own impressions. I think the one area that might be misunderstood is the apparent quest for “perfection” in my work. I believe that perfection is a loaded word that has psychological overtones that are for the most part negative and harmful to all of us. I prefer that people think of my work in terms of precision rather than perfection; as a matter of fact, I would say my work is more about finding beauty in the breaks, the scars, and the tears than it is about perfection.
What is next?
When I started my career in the arts I consciously decided that I was going to try and enjoy the journey and not just strive to achieve an end point of what I would consider a successful art career. That being said, I do believe I am doing that (to a certain extent, anyway) and the ride has been very exciting. The thing I hope will happen is that my work will reach more viewers and a broader audience over time and that people find what they are seeing to be engaging.