I have been a sculptor–with wood my preferred medium–for almost 50 years. My early mature work, narrative-based, concerned with totemic and geometric qualities, and additive in nature, was created with traditional tools: Japanese saws, Northwest Coast knives and African adzes. The imagery was iconographically complex, referencing a multiplicity of cultural references as diverse as traditional/indigenous arts, Picasso and Brancusi, hot rods, Surrealism, and Bay Area Funk. Balancing milled lumber with naturally occurring forms, my imagery was often anthropomorphic, frequently humorous, occasionally enigmatic, and always evocative. Translucent colors enhanced the depth and complexity of my carefully crafted wooden surfaces.
Gradually, my palette deepened with saturated colors, obscuring the wooden support; visual tension was heightened through asymmetry and formal contradiction as the work gained greater impact with a new-found animation. In the 1990s, my interest in Chinese scholars’ stones paralleled my works’ new direction: now sculpting with high-powered sandblasting equipment in a more reductive manner (this industrially-based technology paradoxically enabling me to create organic shapes and surfaces), I finish the piece with little or no color. My work is moving in a looser, more lyrical, and asymmetrical direction, as I explore forms emerging from decaying woods rather than building up shapes from milled lumber. This has enabled me to combine my materials and resources with my intuitive and meditative contemplations, creating a dialogue that helps me to generate form through an organic process. I am also using more found objects, deconstructing and manipulating them in order to create works in an assemblage fashion. Further, I am also–for the first time in 25 years–interpreting my aesthetic and formal concerns in two dimensions as well. Remaining characteristically based in abstraction, my work is now more instinctive in development and expressionist in tone; I look to express the human edge: the smell, the touch, the physicality that reflects my imprint on the varied media I explore.