“Scale is a bouillon cube that can condense and hopefully enrich a concept.”
― Charles LeDray
Late at night I sit hunched at my table, under work lights, tweezers and x-acto knife in hand, trying to wrestle unwilling materials into meaningful objects. At this time, in this space, the sense of being alone and disconnected from the world is tangible. I lose a sense of scale of the world and the tabletop becomes a limitless expanse. Here I can build anything, free of the constraints of size. In the middle of the night, peering intensely at some small thing, I do become lost, consumed by the intensity of this condensed universe. When the work is done, and put out in the world, it is hopefully like a bouillon cube, a compact block of meaning made vast by the minds of viewers.
Working in miniature comes with expected connotations. Small things are often seen as toys, but my hope is that these toys are as the poet Charles Simic says, “a trap for dreamers. The true toy is a poetic object.” He writes this when thinking about the work of Joseph Cornell, and also a sculpture by Alberto Giacometti called The Palace at 4 A.M. Simic describes the piece as “no more than a few sticks assembled into a spare scaffolding, which the mysterious title makes haunting and unforgettable...In that world one plays the game of being someone else.” Giacometti describes making the sculpture little by little, its meaning revealing itself to him slowly. I want my work to possess the attraction of a toy, as Simic says, “a vehicle of reverie, an object that would enrich the imagination of the viewer and keep him company forever."
I make art in my home, inspired by objects from my home, made out of things in my home. Cereal is eaten and the box is used to sculpt chairs and bookshelves. Junk mail appears and is soaked in coffee and folded into books and plants. I look at my son’s toys and wonder if they hold hidden meaning. I study the ubiquitous objects of the classroom: the chalkboard, the folding chair, the pedestal. What do they represent? Why is there a chalkboard but never any chalk? The simple mysteries of the mundane, expressed in miniature, in hopes of expanding to the size of real life, and bigger and bigger. I sing the praises of cardboard--its humble nature, and infinite potential.