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Through sculpture and assemblage, my work explores the array of complexities experienced by individuals within the gay community. I create work to reveal internal and external resentments with a variety of mediums and symbolism. As a tribute and a memoir, my practice touches on feelings that resonate personally and universally. I hope for viewers to engage with the work emotionally, and to question their own similar or dissimilar experiences. My work is merely a glimpse into the often unknown or unrecognized struggles of being gay.
I am a interdisciplinary visual artist from Finland. My work focuses on themes of time, memory, and human experience. I draw inspiration from my personal history and observations.
My work stems from the loss of both my mother and father due to smoking related cancers in February of 2013. Their passing left a deep void in my life that led to my interest in Memento Mori, or the act of coming to terms with ones own mortality. Through this investigation I came to terms with the trauma of my childhood and the lack of memories I actually have.
I discovered wire the day I made my first wire face. So for me wire and faces are inseparable, like taste to the tongue. I'm not a portrait artist; my work is less about the subject than it is about the very act of creation. I speak only in wire, and faces are my language. But how to explain the longevity of my artistic project now in its twenty eighth year? It's because the reward keeps increasing with every sculpture. Wire, the most innocuous item found in the back of every junk drawer, is a medium with potential that has only barely been tapped. With every new sculpture I'm building on my discoveries from the last sculpture. "Luminous," my latest creation, represents my most honest attempt at taking a thing of no significance, and working it till it moves the viewer. Somehow by humanizing a medium that is so easily discarded, I feel a closer connection to my fellows, as in prayer. I leave the studio with a deep sense of our collective humanity and a profound feeling of optimism.
This is a current exploration of personal and familial histories through an archiving of objects and the personal mythologies associated with these objects. This work examines the collecting of heirloom objects as a means of identity construction and the building of personal, familial and community history as counter-narrative to American history, re-centering black female subjectivity.
For several years I have used my family’s vintage photographs to make paintings based on the iconography and ideals of Medieval and Renaissance altarpieces and manuscripts. I use 22k gold leaf and egg tempera on wooden panels and sometimes-animal skin (vellum). After my dismay and depression over the November 2016 election I began to substitute photographs of Trump, his administration, family, associates, tweets and quotes into existing manuscripts and altarpieces that depict, illuminate or illustrate what I believe is the shallow and corrupt nature of his government. It has been illuminating to me how so many of these imperial and grand images from Medieval and Renaissance European royalty relate to our present situation. Some things never change.
“Sometimes, stretched at ease in the shade of a roadside tree, we watch the motions of a laborer in a distant field, and after a time, begin to wonder languidly as to what the fellow may be at. We watch the movements of his body, the waving of his arms, we see him bend down, stand up, hesitate, begin again. It may add to the charm of an idle hour to be told the purpose of his exertions. If we know he is trying to lift a stone, to dig a ditch, to uproot a stump, we look with a more real interest at his efforts; we are disposed to condone the jar of his agitation upon the restfulness of the landscape; and even, if in a brotherly frame of mind, we may bring ourselves to forgive his failure. We understood his object, and, after all, the fellow has tried, and perhaps he had not the strength, and perhaps he had not the knowledge. We forgive, go on our way, and forget. And so it is with the workman of art.”
Each mosaic I do is a new journey into creativity. This wonderful art form can be used in both indoors and outdoors. In addition to the traditional mosaic tesserae (tile) I use other materials such as beads, shells, bone, ceramic pieces and found objects. Laying mosaic pieces in specific arrangements, taking into consideration, size, shape, color and texture is therapeutic. It is interesting to see how individual parts of a mosaic blend into the background or stand out, drawing the eyes attention. Art creates a powerful dialogue and provokes the viewer to ponder its message.
This work is part of a series of policeman, firefighters and US marines represeting how to show security, but in a spiritual way. The soldier is projecting more security when he gives peace and not violence, than by using his M16. This is not a particular person depicted. We all can be more powerful and safe through our spiritual practices, rather than by force
As technology advances, it becomes an integral part of the everyday, inevitably affecting and changing our reality. My work responds to interactions with the screen or this other space as an entrance to the psychological. I create installations that function alongside video to investigate and critique the formation of the self as it relates to larger societal issues.
When my family and I lived on the farm, we always had different kinds of trees. Our favorites were the walnut and pecan trees. The trees were like our playground while we enjoyed the bounty it provided.
This piece explores the use of a material that women consider no longer useful. I watched around 50 different women throw thousands of dollars worth into ziplock bags for me to create this portrait. The makeup was deemed either empty, too old, or just not pretty.
In February of 2013, I lost both my mother and father two weeks apart from each other to smoking-related cancers. It was a devastating time in my life, but I channeled my grief into the conceptual ideas of my work. Cancer is a disease that is a perfectly structured killer; it is beautiful in its architecture but grotesque in its eventuality. I began to think about nostalgia, longing for a childhood I never had, and parents that I needed. My recent work is an exploration of the escapisms I used as a child to escape my everyday reality. I repurpose retro-pop culture VHS from my childhood to re-envision the movies and fiction that became my surrogate parents and allowed me to find order from my chaos, beauty from destruction, and hope for more joyous times.
At the intersection between generations, things are lost. Domestic items lose their potency in daily life, and rarely are objects created, manufactured, or bought with intentions to spend a quality amount of time with them, care for them, and pass them along to younger generations. The work I create is a reaction to this reality. Contemporary society is consumed with disposability, and people are no longer connected to the objects that aid in their sustenance. Making objects formed with touch, labor, and time, imbued with value and worth counterpoints this disposability—the objects I create patiently wait to be discovered and enjoyed, retained, and later passed on to others.
In 2014, my wife spent nine months in West Africa on the front lines of the Ebola response. She lead a surveillance team trying to identify “contacts,” who are persons who may have come into contact with an infected person. The man in this painting was among these “contacts.” He and several others from a small village in rural Sierra Leone had direct contact with a boy who became infected with Ebola and died. He knew the boy since his birth and wrapped the boy’s body before burial. This is the moment when he learned that his act of love and respect put him in danger of Ebola. This is the moment when he learned that he was now a “contact,” and for the next 21 days, a stranger would visit him each day to look for signs of the disease that had already killed thousands in his country. This is Contact Tracing and one of the most critical elements to stem the tide of an epidemic.
I build worlds from the most common and least known material: paper. The ritual of hand papermaking is ancient, scientific, and rhythmic. I merge this science with the unknown by air-drying my pieces: the paper shrinks, twists and cockles, forming three-dimensional shapes more subtle than I could design. My paper forms revert to their botanical origins; I make plants from plants. Oversized and immersive, diminutive and whimsical, my pieces dilate the natural world and bring it inside.
Night after night in New Orleans, I saw our youth give their blood to the streets. How could I sit silently on the sidelines as the foundations of life were shattered by gun shots? I was faced with a choice. In my art, will I contribute to a Culture of Life, or will I allow the Culture of Death to prevail? My drawings are an account of the Culture of Life, the greatest alternative to both violence and the Culture of Death. My mission is to actively contribute to New Orleans’ reduction in homicide through artistic expression by supporting and glorifying people who use nonviolence to confront violence, those who help build a life-affirming culture and who are noble role models for our community. I tell their story so that the larger New Orleans community can model their character and deeds and participate in building peace in New Orleans.
In terms of 2-D compositions as well as 3-D constructions, Bretta’s artworks reflect her efforts to resolve the problem of establishing structurally sound and accurate space within simulated atmospheres and venues. Her artworks also express the analytical processes used to resolve these problems while creating various concepts. She visually interprets and represents each element in a manner that will enhance visual sensations and enrich the overall visual experience. In terms of subject, her artworks reflect her Christian beliefs, concerns, and doctrines. She views her artworks as a “Visionary Christian Art Ministry.” It is her intention to visually communicate unique atmospheres through the depictions of Biblical themes, personas, vistas, historical moments and future projections. Her visual interpretations of the scriptures are generally representational in appearance. She believes that her artworks will share the Gospel and provide an oasis of visual refreshment fo...
“Sisters Under a Canopy of Oaks” was taken on a dirt road on St. Helena Island, SC during a family vacation. The photo was taken on an almost unbearably hot and muggy day in August. My daughters cooperated beautifully when I suddenly told them to hop out and walk down the road so I could take a photo of them in this amazingly beautiful setting. When our girls saw this photo, they begged to submit it to Artfields. They have loved attending Artfields for the past two years, and they like to dream about the art that they could create and submit.
Creating art is a wondrous journey from the conception of a juicy idea to the final aesthetics; it’s what propels our spirits as creative beings!
With a whimsical and colorful and nod to contemporary culture, our mixed media installation “”Consume”” turns discarded plastic into a swirling school of fabulous, funky fish. As you walk around the installation you become part of the art. We hope to encourage the use of non-traditional art materials and to also spark dialog about post-consumerism waste and the plight of our oceans and fish due to plastics. After all, as the old saying goes, “You are what you eat!”
Sun Boxes is an environment for one to enter and exit. It’s a system that improvises with Mother Nature. The sound of Sun Boxes is loud enough to engulf the listener but there is also enough space for ambient sounds of the environment to enter the mix such as; birds, traffic, wind, wavesĂ‚Â… It’s the perfect combination of technology and nature that create art, an environment.
Participants are encouraged to walk amongst the speakers, and surround themselves with the piece. Allowing the audience to move around the piece will create a unique experience for everyone. Sun Boxes is not just one composition, but, many. There are no batteries involved, so Sun Boxes is reliant on the sun. Clouds, participants and various amounts of sunlight all contribute to the consistent evolution of the piece.
This tapestyry was inspired by French neoclassicalĂ‚Â portraiture but with a twist…tattooing her face with a floral motif and adding crystal beadwork to the surface of the portrait.
Family Dollar General Tree grew out of project I started after our move to New Orleans in 2010. The original project, titled Wreck (http://www.flickr.com/photos/bobsnead/sets/72157625864777981/), was a recreation of a car accident I witnessed on my first days in the city and it became a metaphor for our move-feeling as if we’d crashed landed with no clear plan. While developing the installation with the cardboard boxes we used for the move, I became obsessed with the corporate branding that covered the exteriors. Because of a prevalence of Dollar Stores in my neighborhood, I began collecting and building from their cardboard refuse with the goal of creating a closed circuit infinite loop of Uroboros, where the trash of Dollar Stores goes back into the production of a Dollar Store. The project cynically comments on the illusion of infinite resources that box stores project, while also wholeheartedly embracing the forms that shape our domestic life with meticulously handcrafted pro...
This is a part of a series of images of actual slaves from a larger ongoing exhibition that deals with various aspects of southern ‘Plantation’ life.