Clean Break, shown at Governors Island Art Fair 2015, Manhattan, NY.

Clean Break was spotlighted on a few artblogs and websites:

Design Trend, “Top 5 Installations to See at GIAF”

ArtNet’s Review of the Fair

The Observer

This body of work draws together objects that I love, relics of lovers, and materials that I’ve jealously stashed away over the past ten years. The show consists of two parts: a central piece and satellites. Visitors must contend with the large, dynamic, violent curves of clean break before advancing to the smaller, more decorative, quiet, “pretty” Inclusions. Each work/collection is assembled from many smaller parts in an obvious, manic, heaping fashion. The curves, bends, and layers of wood and acrylic scraps that make up clean break threaten visitors’ eyes, prod at unsuspecting chests, and snag the unwary sneaker. Light plays off the acrylic, obscuring the sculpture’s physical dimensions and painting thick lines across the floor. The piece seems at once to push up and down, bent with the supreme effort of holding the ceiling and floor apart.

Or maybe it is the floor and ceiling that are constricting the sculpture. Like gum joining sneaker and sidewalk, clean break is elastic while simultaneously jagged. Perhaps a better metaphor is the slowly crystallizing sugars of freshly cooling caramel, curling off a spatula, stretched to the point of breaking but somehow hanging on: stuck, sharp, and frozen.

The blocks are born from similar materials, but arrive at a very different place. Here, dynamic twists and whorls lie flat against the wood, enclosed by invisible geometric barriers. Wain-wood (the wood’s outermost “live” layer) and uncut-epoxywork create dimples, hollows, and occasional yawning rifts, marring the most-otherwise silk-smooth faces. Enclosed within these colorful lakes lie their hearts–shredded love poems, written mostly in vain, never delivered, rarely reciprocated, and eternally angsty and unfulfilled. Beside these poems curl letters of rejection from prestigious MFA programs, shredded remnants of undergrad artwork, and crumpled fold-outs from porn magazines. Shredding these these personal documents and embedding them in new work allows me closure, and sense of (if I may) poetic justice.

I have long struggled with the question of how to allow my audience to touch my work. I am wary of signs and vehemently against pleading (Please touch!), cajoling (ARTWORK IS MEANT TO BE TOUCHED), or otherwise actively requesting participation (If you would be so inclined as to touch my blocks).

I have chosen, for the first time, to display signage advertising this intention: “Please ensure hands are clean before handling artwork” I hope that this message is just passive enough to blend in with exit signs and other institutional wall-writing, but open enough to give courage to those who may have not already had the impulse to finger the sculptures. Perhaps, eventually it will not be so difficult to overcome the barrier between audience and artwork, but in today’s world of white walls, museum guards, and prim manners, it will take more than scribbled love poems and bent plexiglass to break it.

Clean Break | 2017 | Archives