Selected Fine Arts Faculty Artists
In varying ways, the works you are about to see look at the world and turn it on its head through manipulation, accretion, and destruction. Velasquez and Munster use fire to bring order from chaos. KYLE piles image on image on image in an endless stratification; Maxwell layers objects, photographs, and text in surreal complexity.
My constructed, non-documentary images have no other reason to exist, other than an expression of my own idiosyncratic musings. My interests range from conceptual thoughts about photography, to human nature and the construction of the narrative. I’m currently interested in expressing my observations of the human experience. And, creating images that visually convey my thoughts about how people act toward themselves and others.
I’ve always been attracted to the power of art to tell a dramatic and profound story. Throughout history, the telling of human stories helps us reflect on ourselves. From ancient Greeks tragedies to Bible stories, from Shakespeare to the American Realists, human drama’s have been used to help us examine ourselves. Stories by Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller and others, educated me as a young person coming into the world, about certain truths of real life relationships. As I grew older, I realized how true they were!
The series Observations and Family both self reference photography. Observations, projects a “snap-shot” image that becomes part of the narrative and composition. The snap-shot feel of the projected images creates a contemporary sensibility to the theme. The Family Series, uses old portrait photos to pay homage to the professional formal portrait photographer and the studio photography genre. And, brings imaginary characters to life. By incorporating a photo in a photo, I hope to make use of the that image to help create context. I looked at the old photos and automatically started to construct imaginary stories of the unknown people I saw. I think this as a natural human trait and used it to entice the viewer to play along.
Both series use realism to suggest the sordid and uncomfortable narratives that create that unique human drama. Becoming familiar with my own family history and my enjoyment of “reading into” the photos of others, I draw inspiration from my personal experience and the notorious and scandal rich history of others. The ability of people to hide part of themselves from public knowledge is well known. It’s fascinating to see the devious personalities of some people and the mechanics of their subterfuge.
Hopefully, the viewer will use my work to reflect on the universal, never ending saga of the human drama.
The control of the studio and the formal approach of “building an image” appeals to my most basic instinct as an artist. Photographers like Olivia Parker, Jan Grover and Irving Penn, have influenced my thinking about a more studied and constructed approach to image making. From the John Szarkowski concept of Mirrors and Windows, I see my work as a mirror of my own thoughts.
My previous series of photo-drawings are a purely aesthetic investigation into form becoming content. How a hand made-mark can visually coexist with an optical-made image. Photography is like magic. It’s an illusion that tricks our visual senses into believing it is real.
I’ve spent my professional life as a studio still-life photographer. And, have created
fine art images that attempt to resolve these aesthetic musings.
We live in time of uncertainty.
And that reality filters its way into our subconscious –
fear emerges again transformed by symbolism in sleep.
The foreboding of the day reappears like actors on a stage
of a night performance, piecing together disjointed fragments
of information. Even though dreams are autobiographical,
their comprehension always elusive.
I had a disturbing dream that left me searching for insight into its meaning,
but before it could recede into the realm of oblivion, I decided to express
it in a creative piece. Life has taught me that reality is more perplexing than
fiction. The process of making art is to a certain extent exorcism and free therapy;
a shield against the harshness of reality.
My work is autobiographical, narrative and nonlinear. I like to search for ways to describe or conceptualize the world around me. I am an observer with an appreciation for time and place, and I find inspiration in literary sources. At some point, I began to see the importance of relationships, and that has continued, as an underlying constant.
I am a multimedia artist who explores bodies of work through painting and constructions. I find my way into a creation through atmosphere, irony and metaphor.
I have always been interested in unseen forces. I like to go beyond what is literal and find an expression of something true, but hard to define. Something timeless. I find the collision of subject matter from found images and objects recontextualized, powerful and fresh.
When I paint, I create bodies of small works, meant as studies to compliment of proceed a larger work. Keeping a creation simple can create its own tension in its quietness. Sometimes I go for an epic statement with a piece that has a lot going on in a single work.
For me, a painting starts with an idea or concept. From there, anything can happen. My constructions are made of found and fabricated objects. Whether painting or fabricating, I like to find and push the visual and psychological abstraction of context and meaning in an image or object. The incidental of scale and historical reference draw parallels of their own such as: order and chaos, belief, and propaganda, the everyday and the uncanny.
I trust in the personal narrative of what I know and like. That may, or may not matter, but I feel connected when I am pushing an idea and I’m motivated to see it realized. I think of art making as a form of storyboarding, a piece is like a comic strip of a movie. A creation can achieve a sense of simultaneousness, showing the past, present and future at once. Of course, people bring their own meaning, and interpretation is in what the viewer sees.
My work is an on-going nonlinear mythology, the materials I use have meaning, and there is a degree of fetish or historical relevance in the work. I have produced bodies of work in different mediums. I feel, when you have a strong idea or concept, it should be explored in divergent media. For me, certain elements reoccur in my work. Relationships for example are central, and there are other things to, such as the use of narratives.
For this, the 2020 Valencia Faculty Exhibition, I have chosen to share a sampling
of images drawn from a show I produced for amp; with City Arts in Orlando, Florida
in May of this past year. The text below is an excerpt from a statement written for
When we are compelled to look closely we learn.
Or at least we have an opportunity to see. Perhaps something was overlooked, underestimated or negated by some broader context or goal or idea or whatever. The events that have taken place over the course of the past year have given many of us time for pause, and these images are a result of that.
The title of this developing body of work is ex ante // ex post, which translates from Latin as Before the Event // After the Event.
Both the physical works and the digital images that were selected for this show aim to function as highlights: documenting, presenting amp; elevating the process of transformation through an event. In this case that event is a physical journey through heat, coal amp; flame. The objects in this exhibit are ceramics. They were fired in a kiln that uses wood, locally sourced from felled trees in the area, as the source of fuel for firing. The colors, textures, marks, cracks and crevasses that grace the surfaces of these works are all fully developed by that particular aspect of the making cycle. Each finished piece is wholly unique as a result of this and thus they trace amp; tell a story. Each object is a physical record of time, place amp; condition during the course of an impactful and irreversible event amp; each image is an homage to that transformative period of their becoming. The images that are central to this evolving body of work are macro photographs. They were created by Michael Luis Diaz, a neighbor, friend and collaborative partner. Their intention is to function as an homage to the nuance, subtlety and depth which can be achieved during the course of the firing process. A visual investigation. An opportunity to elevate the nuance of natural and material phenomena inherent to the final stage in my cycle of producing work.
These images were produced during the early months of the nationwide quarantine in 2020 and are the result of true collaboration. Diaz and I shared a mutual desire to make the most of our shattered and shuttered schedules and normal routines, and thus this project was born. Quarantine afforded both of us the necessary time needed for a fruitful, honest and elevated collaborative effort. My Work, His Eyes. Our distanced communication and direct collaboration were available only via the circumstance of our geographic proximity and our ability to communicate, verbally and visually, through a screen. Each of our respective skill sets and professions was necessary in order for these images to come to life and the resulting images and exhibition are a testament to potential of open engagement, faith in the other, and a shared vision for collaborative possibility. I am incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to begin this developing body of collaborative work and would like to extend my thanks to Mike for his unparalleled enthusiasm, efforts, insights and dedications to the process, products and premise under which we worked to make this project manifest.