ART OF WAR
With apologies to Sun Tzu, I have come to reference my artwork as "The Art of War."
For as long as I can remember, I have been deeply moved by historic accounts of the horrific suffering of innocent victims, and the incredible sacrifices made by those who fight in the numerous, bloody wars around the world. It is the horrors experienced by these civilians and soldiers that are the inspirations for my art. It is through my art that I attempt to express my pain, frustration and anger born from so much needless suffering.
To fully express my emotions, I create sculptural, painting, photographic and mixed media work, using a wide variety of materials such as clay, barbed wire, ammunition, paint, fabric and newspaper articles. Each particular material I incorporate into my art is of extreme importance. I sculpt my figures in clay because I feel that the delicate nature of clay best represents the fragility of mankind. Using barbed wire and ammunition are certainly not unexpected choices for my work. But I believe that beyond their obvious intent, these cold, hard and sharp elements provide a powerful visual contrast against the frail and tenuous nature of clay and paper. The inclusion of newspaper articles in my artwork is of utmost significance. Frequently, my inspirations come from articles that feature heartbreaking stories of human tragedy that are soon too easily forgotten, dismissed and tossed into the recycling bin. By incorporating these vivid depictions of horrendous atrocities into my art, I am not only representing a literal portrayal of the featured story, but I am creating a permanent testimonial of these terrifying accounts of tragic events. Using these articles as an intragal element in my art, I am hopeful that I will be helping to maintain and convey their historic relevance.
Although, I am most frequently moved to create art inspired by the tragedies of war, I am also compelled to create art that is inspired by those who simply have the extreme misfortune to experience the untimely and unforeseen pain and suffering occurring in everyday life and death. I imagine that most people hope for a peaceful death, quietly slipping away through the night. I am drawn to those that experience life’s unexpected random occurrences such as, debilitating disease, car crashes, shark attacks, domestic violence, or choking on Cheese Doodles while watching TV.
I will never claim to create beautiful art. My goal is to create art that makes the viewer stop and think about the horrors and agony that are this planet’s ubiquitous common link. If through my art I am able to bring a certain level of awareness to even one person, then I believe that I will have achieved success.
Unfortunately, George Santayana was spot on when he said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." It appears that mankind will never learn that war is not the answer. And sadly, it is this fact that will always provide me with inspiration for my art.