In my sculptures, simple materials and photography intermingle in destabilized juxtapositions–a lumberjack aesthetic meets mid-century modern lampshade. Simultaneously serious and tongue-in-cheek, the artwork produces a language that speaks of people and objects that defy simple categorization.
My artwork embodies an idea proposed by essayist Pico Iyer, who suggests unprecedented perspectives are created when diverse people unite in novel environments. Iyer stated that there are 220 million people internationally that live in a country that is not their own. He considers these people citizens of an unrecognized, global nation. I grew up on a vegetable farm in rural Vermont, the youngest child in an earthy, multi-ethnic family. My mother is a third generation Japanese American and my father is of Russian Jewish decent. My parents’ communities intersected in Southern New Jersey as a result of significant international upheaval in the 20th century that led to their separate relocation as agricultural laborers. My parents were the first generation to marry outside of their respective ethnic groups and I represent the collision of their cultural histories.
Iyer concludes that multiculturalism today is undergoing constant change and where we come from is less important than where we go. My artistic practice reflects this philosophy to some extent. My investment in craftsmanship is a result of my heritage, but from there I diverge from the past into the new cultural lineage of the mixed race individual. This is represented by my use of a variety of materials and methods that investigate an obsession with contradiction; such as the juxtaposition between natural and synthetic materials, serious and whimsical presentations, and illusionary photographic spaces and the physical reality of tree stumps.