The structure of the society as I knew it has changed a lot since my childhood. Heavy industrial towns, most of the brand name products of my youth, even families are breaking apart, disappearing or in transition. Earlier assumptions of the things and the people that ground me as a child, that I assumed would always be there, have gone.
My copper panels, Corroding and Corroded, reflect this dissolution. In Corroding, no matter what circuitous route the tubular members take, they always find a way to re-enter the motherboard. Not so in Corroded, where the tubular members decay and end abruptly. They leave but do not return. The connection is broken. I chose to use industrial materials because heavy industry has been steadily disappearing in this country and the buildings once occupied, are now closed and decaying all across America. This work, begun in 2006, continues to chemically evolve, and the changing surface texture allows us to discover new and interesting things each time we view the work.
Displayed in the other copper galleries on this web site are panels whose imagery is created by chemical reactions. These panels are sealed to prevent further patination. Public art agencies and other patrons of my art want assurances that these copper panels will not change with time and I have complied up until now. The following quote by Valerie Monroe Shakespeare, owner of the (now defunct) Fulcrum Gallery, (located for many years on Broome St. in NYC), expresses my new philosophy that informs my current work.
If time is actually part of the artist’s palette, then the qualities of the materials being used in the art become part of the statement of the art in a concrete physical way. It is this use of time as a tool in the creation of the art that changes the vitality of the art. If the statement of the art responds to the changes the materials experience in the real world, the art is taken out of stasis & becomes a living object.
Time adds a new dimension to the art. The essence of time becomes part of the statement. It is an intrinsic contradiction to try to freeze an idea “forever” in any medium. Time is the enemy of art attempting to capture an impression or concept for future appreciation, without actually considering the future of the substance on which the art is carried. The survival of a work of art that does not incorporate time, is a losing battle against the “ravages of time.” Sometimes stasis is prolonged by sealed isolation or re-creation by other hands. Future generations are relegated to peering through glass at shadows of once great art or viewing “masterpieces” recreated by the hands of nameless restorers. This art becomes nothing but legend. The future becomes a major part of the art when the material of which it is made is interfaced with the idea of art. Instead of fighting the elements of nature, in a doomed battle to remain static, the art is allowed to respond, creating a dialogue with time & becoming enriched by the effects of time.