My interest lies in the cultural notions of value and to what degree persons value things; whether the object of valuing is a person, idea, object, or anything else. Some value can be measured in dollars and cents, some in gold and precious stones, and some is harder to measure in the ordinary things we keep and the people who enrich our lives. I call into question the fact that most value is relative and subjective. How do we perceive value? Do we treat or respect things differently when we view them as valuable? I often associate these questions with the state of our economy, the price of gold and other commodities, in addition to influential people, daily activities, and the way we choose to live our lives. These questions are mainly catalysts for my persistent analysis concerning the theory of value.
I create primarily small-scale and wearable sculptures of precious metals that I often combine with more ordinary found objects. My artwork directly responds to my environment and uses everyday experiences as a starting point. I create situations in which everyday objects are altered or detached from their natural function. By applying specific combinations and certain manipulations, different functions and/or contexts are created exaggerating certain formal aspects inherent to our contemporary society. I am drawn to fine metals such as copper, brass, bronze as well as the traditional jewelry metals, silver and gold, because they are loaded with various types of value – intrinsic, aesthetic, and cultural. Captivated by the interplay of adornment, scale, and non-traditional materials, the found objects I use are typically more commonplace, but circulate through contemporary culture as signifiers of importance, worth, or usefulness of something.
Humor is an important element in my work and I enjoy getting the viewer to laugh, smile, or play with the work even while addressing more serious subject matter. The manipulation of these found objects, images, or text enhances each piece’s wit and humor. Sometimes they appear idiosyncratic and quirky, at other times, they seem typical by-products of American superabundance and marketing. Levity allows viewers to enter my work on one level, but with more time spent additional layers of meaning unfold to facilitate a deeper understanding of value.