"Mister Mistress" is a fictional narrative photo-essay, presented through a self-portrait. This single portrait is the internal narrative of a transgendered individual, someone who was born as a man, but identifies as a woman. Content and proud to be who she is, “Mistress” wakes up and prepares for her day: bra, skirt, make up, shirt, heels... Suddenly, to her dismay, "Mister" wakes up from the blissful dream that is “Mistress” to the unsettling truth of reality. This living nightmare is a society in which she does not feel tolerates or accepts her for her sexual orientation. The true unfortunate story here is that this narrative is not fiction for many individuals that identify as transgender; honestly, this is a struggle for many individuals who identify with a sexuality that is outside of the heteronormative sphere. As a bisexual man, I personally understand the feelings of the fictional character "Mister Mistress". Society is a continuously changing structure, but my sexual orientation is not. My wish is for this photo to create conversation and action; the mistreatment of individuals due to their sexual orientation is a serious problem, and it must cease.
I started this series with an interest in architecture. We create these manmade surroundings for ourselves; this crafted space influences our interactions and lifestyle. From this I wanted to look at non-manmade structures and observe what is in place that hasn’t been altered by human touch. Essentially, the “architecture” of nature. What patterns are already inherent in our surroundings? What similarities do we share with them? Compared to manmade structures, nature is organic and spontaneous, but I am interested in finding the organization in the chaos of nature. I want to extract the inherent symmetries and geometries of nature and isolate those patterns and textures to create aesthetic, curious pieces. “Deconstructed Bouquet” is created from dried flower petals.
This print makes light of a tragic moment in history. By using bright fun colors, whimsical imagery and a pun for a title, I Scream, You Scream is a humorous take on the Titanic crash and subsequent sinking. In 1912 the RMS Titanic sank in the North Atlantic after colliding with an iceberg killing more than 1,500 people. Instead of an iceberg, however, this ship has struck an ice cream cone, mimicking the wafer often sticking out of the soft-serve delight. The title is referencing a popular 1927 song with the lyrics:
Tuesdays, Mondays, we all scream for sundaes
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream
That is known and sung to this day. It also doubles as a reference to the screams of the passengers on the sinking ship. The print aims to poke fun at the idealization of this event as well as the morbid attraction people have to it. They revel in new information as if it were good enough to eat.
No Artist Statement
Temporal range: Early ‘90s to Early 2000s.
Reason(s) for extinction: Divorce, bankruptcy, instability, health, and abandonment.
I started this series with an interest in architecture. We create these manmade surroundings for ourselves; this crafted space influences our interactions and lifestyle. From this I wanted to look at non-manmade structures and observe what is in place that hasn’t been altered by human touch. Essentially, the “architecture” of nature. What patterns are already inherent in our surroundings? What similarities do we share with them? Compared to manmade structures, nature is organic and spontaneous, but I am interested in finding the organization in the chaos of nature. I want to extract the inherent symmetries and geometries of nature and isolate those patterns and textures to create aesthetic, curious pieces.
The piece "The Naturally Intrinsic Blueprint" is created from pencil, ink, and wire sculptures.
Hidden deep within the sandy Californian deserts lies an artifact lost in time - a memento reminding us of a darker era in American history. This Cold War relic, a later-production RB-52B long range nuclear bomber, was decommissioned in 1970 by the United States Air Force. It was then towed into the desert, purposefully destroyed, and left to decay at the mercy of nature. Not many people know of its existence, but those that do remain awestruck in its overwhelming presence. Bullet holes can be seen scattered across its armored shell, and the windows to the cockpit have been shattered with a noticeable red hue outlining the glass. The sight of something so magnificent, forever poised in its desolate setting, really makes the mind wonder.
I’ve always loved dragons since I was a child. They were majestic, powerful, intelligent, beautiful, all things that appeal to a young child. I desperately sought them out, and while I have never found one they still capture my interest. This piece was inspired by that search, a dragon created from the stars and a child reaching out to it. It’s part of a series based on the idea of dragons existing in our world in subtle ways, be it as the constellations in the sky, the flow of a river as it cuts through the land, or the small embers which rise up from a flame. This piece was created digitally, although it was all drawn on a single layer.
Stacking for Sustainability, ceramic with Pete’s Weathered Bronze glaze, 28” x 22” x 9”
Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten is a German fairytale in which a group of animals teams up to accomplish more together than they could alone. This story is symbolized by a bronze statue in the city of Bremen featuring a pyramid of a donkey, a dog, a cat, and a rooster standing on each other’s backs.
The artwork I created draws upon my German heritage, the visual appeal of the statue in Bremen, and the work of American farmer Joel Salatin. My ceramic statue represents a melding of these stories to create something new. I am interested in opportunities for art and science communication to interact in the pursuit of a sustainable future for humanity. Farming models such as Salatin’s inspired me during my work on an Honors thesis examining agricultural solutions that support environmental resilience and produce nutritious food to combat chronic human diseases and disorders. Salatin uses an innovative farm design to raise cows, pigs, and chickens sustainably by utilizing the natural interdependence of these animals to reduce waste and external inputs (as described in Michael Pollan’s 2006 book The Omnivore’s Dilemma).
These sustainable results could not be achieved by raising the animals on separate farms; Salatin refers to the success of “stacking” multiple species on the same area of land. The term “stacking” was the impetus for me to visually represent Salatin’s work via an animal pyramid. The cow, pig, and hen take the place of the donkey, dog, cat, and rooster from the German fairytale. I chose the green glaze in reference to the weathered bronze statue in Bremen and to symbolize the sustainable “green” approach to raising farm animals.
This is an image of a woman who lives in the Shan State of Burma. She walks miles through the jungle with wood balanced on her head back to her and her neighbors' homes. I see her weathered skin and wrinkles as telling her story of resilience and wisdom.
Desserts indulge my interest in the notion of desire and the decorative. Making desserts out of ceramics creates a dialogue about permanence and impermanence. Desserts are ephemeral, they are consumed visually and then literally through eating, whereas ceramic objects are permanent and have a sense of sturdiness to them. I view the romantic perception of working in the studio as a battleground or arena where my ideas come to life through the physicality of working with clay.
I struggled figuring out what exactly I am celebrating by making a cake out of clay, and I realized that it was more of a monument and way to mourn the idea of celebration and decadence. I also attempted to make desserts permanent by making bouquets of ice cream. My current research is focused around imitating the texture and look of ice cream or frosting into ceramic materials. To what extent does the fact that the desserts are ceramic and not genuine impact the viewer?
No Artist Statement
No Artist Statement
The intent of this piece is to stimulate conversation about gender roles and the functionality of each gender’s “craft”. By creating the structure of the hoops through more stereotypically masculine methods like welding and spray painting, “man’s” craft is contrasted with the intricate, macramé knots and weaving constructed through methods of a “woman’s” craft. The shape is of a basketball hoop, a sport that is played by both genders. The tallest hoop is regulation height at 10 feet, the same for both men and women. The other two hoops are at 5’7” and 6’4”, the respective average shortest heights of professional women and men basketball players. This juxtaposition highlights what has been determined about women and men and their generalized skill sets over time.
When we are children we treat objects as friends. Too often we forget about these beloved toys and the imaginary world we once created as we grow up. Here a stuffed horse lies in wait for his owner. The covers have been tossed aside and the pillow still retains the indent of a head. Although the human is sentimental enough to keep the stuffed animal in his bed, he has forgotten about him now that it is daytime. But still, the horse waits. This picture is both of love and of loss.