Artist Statement

I recently had a show called This Means This. This Means That. It was inspired by Sean Hall’s book that introduces semiotics – the theory of signs, and how to read them as a part of everyday life: from road signs that point to a destination, to smoke that warns of fire, to the symbols buried within art and literature.

Much of my work involves a fascination with the human desire for meaning and how we create and interpret signs. Anything is a sign, as long as we believe it signifies something. For instance, a simple flower like a hollyhock, which grows very tall and sows many seeds, signifies more than just itself—it can also signify ambition. A beautiful pattern on a robe of a ruler may repeat the motif of a hollyhock over and over again, and those familiar with this system of signification will understand that the person wearing it thirsts for more power. Like beauty, meaning is always in the eye of the beholder. However, for the artist, this can mean this, but it also often means that.

In particular, I am interested in how artists used sign-making in art throughout the ages to wordlessly instruct and inspire the people in matters of faith, power, redemption, sin, divine law, and grace. Ritual itself has tremendous power to satisfy practitioners’ spiritual and emotional needs, strengthen social bonds, and demonstrate respect or submission. In my series, Evolution of a Pose, each of the four sculptures depicted here are from the exteriors of European cathedrals and participants in Mass passing underneath their gaze would receive warning, affirmation, or uplifting. Furthermore, in the centuries of western Art History represented here, we see another form of ritual being repeated: the gradual cycle of abstraction to realism to stylization that even the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans repeated.


I am a practitioner of what New York Times art critic Michael Kimmelman calls the “Cinderella Art” – printmaking. For the past 20 years, I have been working almost exclusively with woodcuts that are based on photographs and appropriated patterns. Aside from their large scale, my prints may seem to conform to the long tradition of woodcuts. In fact, they are highly manipulated computer images that are transferred to plywood. Only after that point does the process follow the time- and labor-intensive path that would be recognized by a traditional woodcut artist. All are hand carved and most are created in a succession of carving in the manner known as reduction prints. I print using oil-based inks on Stonehenge paper on a Takach etching press. Recent advances in the quality of water-based inks and non-toxic printmaking has also opened the door for me to create screen prints and intaglio etchings – a new chapter for my studio work.

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