Artist Statement

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Painter Ed Ruscha once defined the difference between bad art and good art by saying that when you see bad art your reaction is to say, "Wow! Huh?" but when you see good art you react by saying, "Huh? Wow!"

 My recent abstract assemblages (“Huh?”), built entirely of cut paper squares, are celebrations of color, light, texture, contemplation and composition.   The process of creating a cut-paper assemblage is an ongoing exercise in artistic awareness in that I am constantly searching for discarded paper products (packaging, junk mail, posters, advertising, magazines, etc) that catch my imaginative eye.  Source material, also culled from my own painting and photography experiments, is selected based on color, line, and texture.  It is then cut into various sized squares, from 3” large to ¼” small.   Squares are then methodically bonded to each other recognizing the relationships between artistic fundamentals and graphic design.  I struggle with similar and competing elements until a harmonious resolution is achieved.  The outcome of this labor intense process is a beautifully composed design which can stand alone, but will ultimately become a small facet of a much larger piece.

 I work in layers and within geometric shapes, combining elements until I feel satisfied with the whole. The amazing aspect of the whole is that each tiny area is a new fully-realized composition unto itself. In my larger cut-piece assemblages, each little square within a square is a meticulously constructed miniature work of art, and there are hundreds, no... thousands of discoveries in the big piece waiting patiently for a further inspection (“Wow!”). 

 Born in Manhattan Beach, California in 1954, I am a proud 5th generation Southern Californian who spent my youth on the beach and my adulthood in the Midwest, studying and teaching at UW-Madison.   I earned a BA from the Claremont McKenna College in California, an MAT from Oakland University in Michigan, and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Brooklyn, Wisconsin is my home, where I live on a farm with my wife, Mary Grace.