Artist Statement

I am one person of a pair of twins. I was born in Flint Michigan, ten years after General Motors moved its factory to Mexico. My family moved to a suburb of Detroit to start a construction business, which I have intermittently worked at for over ten years. I pursued an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts in Detroit at College for Creative Studies, assuming I would leave as a painter. I loved the idea of owning a painting (even if I myself painted it). The only personal collections I had seen belonged to the owners of the bathrooms I tiled. I instead pursued sculpture after realizing I have labor ingrained in my ideas of work, both from my construction background, and growing up building skateboard ramps, long distance running. My identity has been formed by informal institutions like youth culture, music scenes, and online forums. All of which exist in an undefined flux. The “I think therefore I am,” or better yet “I think _____, therefore I am ______,” is in opposition to the cowboy ideals laid out by the art history books of early to mid yesteryear. Since one’s identity is tied to one’s occupation, the identity of anyone occupied in capitalism is tied to labor.

 

Labor in its sculptural capacity cannot be separated from the history of art and design since the constructivists. My work situates this history back into the actual function of objects in a particular place and time in the face of encroaching globalized homogeneity. I create modular sculptures that allow components to be in flux, continually utilized in a stream of projects. These thoughts on my work came out of my relationship with the built environment; from working at a construction company before I knew I was doing sculpture. While labor itself has long been a part of discussions of collectivized action, whether in unions, or urban ecology, the relationship of labor and the individual is relegated to the D.I.Y. methodology, itself resistant to widespread theoretical investigation. In a city like Detroit, post-industrial and with an abundance of material (without a maintained ownership,) the question of labor and the individual is less tied to property than a D.I.Y. methodology typically dictates. Having free access to space and stuff has allowed me to investigate the materiality of legal, virtual (pirate radio), and physical space.