Named for the era in which the horse first came into being, these, and all of my figurative work, are based on archetypal and mythological sources. They are a personal interpretation and synthesis of what I consider to be some of the greatest art the world has ever produced, which includes pre-historic cave paintings, Tang Dynasty horses, African Boli figures, Minoan art, and Greek and Roman mythology as depicted in European painting and sculpture.
Both the bronze and clear urethane versions of this piece were cast from the discarded tire of a front-end-loader serving a waste transfer station in Brooklyn, NY. Instead of air being inflated with air, these tires are injected with an oily, half congealed neoprene rubber that makes tire punctures that inevitably occur on that rough terrain inconsequential. The original tire, cut open as it was in an effort to reclaim the rim, was one of the most raw, nasty and defiled objects that I ever seen. While the tread was hard and worn, the interior was soft and gooey. Its’ obvious muscularity was counterbalanced by an unusual vulnerability, and in this way for me, became a metaphor for us all.
Push-Ups in Hell was inspired by a news story I read in which authorities at Louisana's Angola State Penitentiary had taken away the prisoner's weight lifting equipment. In an act of resourcefulness and defiance, the inmates resorted to using each other as weights. This is a highly metaphorical image which speaks to issues of societal class struggle, the individual human condition and the purgatorial consequences in death of a life not rightly lived.
The idea of using Jell-O as a sculptural medium came to me as a result of consciously trying to free my mind from the traditional constraints of sculpture making. Over the course of a year of experimentation, research and testing, and with the help of numerous food scientists and chemists, I developed a recipe and technique for the creation of a unique, gelatin-based material that has the look, feel and scent of real Jell-O, yet will not shrink, rot, decay or melt at room temperatures, and therefore, has indefinite longevity. Images depict real castings and conceptual drawings of much larger pieces yet to be made. It is my belief that to realize the full potential of the concept, and to provide the viewer’s eye and imagination with a maximum sense of new experience, this work must be executed on a monumental scale.
Cast in solid, clear and flexible platinum-silicone rubber, the inherent nature of this material and the animated vibrancy of these sculptures are discovered through the viewer’s interactive physical contact with the work. When pushed with the most minor effort, the sculptures begin to swing and sway. Programmable RGB/LED lights housed in the base point upwards, slowly shifting through the entire light spectrum, thus illuminating the sculptures and the surrounding environment with ever-changing color. In this atmosphere, viewers are provided a vertiginous, yet bizarrely serene and hypnotic new experience of a material never before encountered in such large mass, of ever-changing light, and of a form in motion.