I was an architect first, having studied at Pratt Institute and practicing for over 20 years when in 2005, a progressive spine disease left me disabled and unable to continue practicing. I reinvented myself as an artist working in the realm of digital media. Because of my disability, I work digitally. Painting the large format works I want to create is not a viable option for me, so digital technology is a blessing. At my age, I straddle two worlds, the analog of the past and the digital of today. Working digitally, I question how the digital modality of creating works of art, being in its infancy relative to the history of art, relates to the history of creative expression. Art and technology is converging in our time. For me, technology as a tool empowers my creative spirit. As my work resides in the realm of virtual computer code, I like to think of the code being the artworks DNA and embedded in this code is the soul of the human element that created it.
My architecture never left me. It lives on in my artistic practice. It informs me; always thinking about structure, color and rhythm. The use of the grid, indispensable in architecture for defining parameters of space, is the skeletal backbone of much of my work. Working within the grid might sound constraining, but for me, is liberating. Within the grid, I syncopate color and geometric forms in kinetic compositions that are an expression of the joy of energy and movement; a stand in for my inability to move freely through the world without pain.
Creating geometric constructs offers me a form of invention that challenges me both analytically and creatively. Each work is a formal exercise layered on top of a creative one, revealing the duality of my brain. The ultimate goal of this process is a quest to reach Optical Joyfulness and to impart this joy to the viewer.
My architectural/engineering brain deeply rooted in my work is now manifesting itself in a new creative process I call “3D Derivatives”. The idea of an artist being derivative often has a negative connotation, as being imitative of another artist. But I’m using this word in a different context; that of something that is derived from a source, in this case the source being a 3d model. Geometric structures are emerging in my 3d explorations as if architecture is being transformed into artwork.
A 3d model can be viewed in many ways, orthographically and in perspective, from the top, bottom and sides, from different angles, rotated and on and on. A 3D model can be rendered with realistic shadows. Depending on the cameras point of view, completely different tapestries reveal itself, as in life, illustrating our perception of the world depends on our point of view. These characteristics draw me into this process enabling me to expand on my geometric abstraction in ways not possible in 2D. Using the program Blender, I first create a 3d model, add color and study different camera views and lighting to cast shadows that emphasize the forms. I then export renderings to be printed on rigid substrates and cut them out on a router allowing the geometry to reveal its edges.