Sunday, April 25, 2010

Brooke Statement

Forever interested in color, materials and books, I want to create objects and imagery that resemble day dreams and invoke a sense of play. My current mixed-media and printmaking work concerns itself with two interrelated sets of imagery. The insects operate as biological metaphor to address states of psychological relationships. The boxes, houses and interior references speak to home.

Alex statement

As an artist I believe it is pertinent to find and draw inspiration from your surroundings. Self generating ideas are too slow. When responding to your own environment, you can find the limitless accessibility of art and creativity. When navigating through my everyday life I am always looking for found objects and a photographic opportunity to incorporate in my art. If someone paints a shed and the paint decays from age, creating an interesting texture I could never make, I have the right to take a photo of it, manipulate it and call it my own. The majority of my art originates from random “happenings” that I come across. These happenings are unscheduled by me and typically overlooked by others. A happening may originate as a picture of a floor texture in an old farm house or a child playing by herself in an ally.

I like the idea of play, in order to better understand and cure my pessimistic natures. In all my work, I layer, re-use and recycle many images and mediums. Because it is the digital age, I have incorporated the use of the computer to further manipulate my images. The use of programs allows for quick changes and an extension to otherwise limited forms of art; however it is a necessity to work with my hands. Technology and commercialism create a disconnection between the user and the receiver. In response to that disconnection, I will always have a tangible aspect in a digital piece of art work. That is why I scan drawings or use textural photos. The presence of something real must exist for me. I am drawn to things with a history or antiquity. To me, digital art is the exact opposite of that.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


My art is humorous and witty dance that is framed through the lens of a video camera. A distinct play on perspective and scale is often used, as the dancers appear larger or smaller than they really are. There is movement in the human body, camera and editing all creating an experience for the viewer.


Art is a useful gift that I intend to incorporate in a lifestyle that inhabits personal joys. I believe that technology, design and artistic ambition are strong qualities in any project that I plan on making. I have a passion for the wedding and event planning industry but instead of incorporating typical aspects of event design I use personal planning as a canvas for an artistic work. In my future I would like to live by my own artistic expectations and open my own business. In the meantime, I use these life experiences to build a portfolio for what I would like to do down the road.


I am an artist not by choice but as a result of being a technician. My art is the systems I create to display others works of art. To me, the artistic beauty is the inside of a rack, an organized wiring hookup, a well designed wiring schematic. My paintbrush is cable and my canvas is equipment. My satisfaction comes from people not noticing my work, but rather it being so natural that it just blends with the existing environment. Creating content to me is more of a byproduct of being a designer rather than the main focus.


As a dancer I find myself championing for the terms "art" and "artist" to be part of the every day parlance in my world. I speak of myself as a "movement artist" and talk about my choreography as "art," often at a time when I want to, consciously or not, validate or uplift my field. The ephemeral or non-tangible form of dance is difficult to grasp as art. People will group Theatre, Dance, Music, etc. into a performing arts category, but to say "I'm an artist" connotes something that rarely involves plies, tendus, and spinal articulation.

While labeling myself as an artist I see my approach to life as being central to this self-categorization. I can easily create movement, an installation, or a video, but the true worth to this endeavor lies in the attention I give to my aesthetic. Why do I feel more like an artist when I am hiking, listening to opera, or cooing a baby to sleep?--somehow these things feel like my aesthetic. The ending product often feels less important to me (i.e. what the motion project looks like) than the journey towards the product. I do not mean I sit with the camp of "process over product;" no, I appreciate and love having a deadline and producing/performing work. The "journey" I speak of relates to the attitude I have while approaching the work. What is important to me as a living breathing human is to be able to relate these experiences to other people in meaningful and hopefully life changing ways. As an artist this is paramount.


I want my videos to express what has happened during my day, as well as how I felt when taping them. I prefer taping everyday activities because they are easy to relate to, but still interesting when the right twist is added. One goal I have of my work is put the viewer in a place of comfort or understanding. I mostly take video for documenting purposes. I like to look back on what I’ve done or what has happened around me (I have a bad memory).


I am an artist because I am uncertain, or perhaps I am uncertain because I am an artist. The uncertainty I have leads me to explore both traditional, but also new, modern mediums. While I may latch onto what was and is, I strive to understand what might be ahead. As a beginner, I should remember that I should not create a strict outline, by should attempt to define myself on a broader level. My art should not be exclusive, but should expand and engage society. Nevertheless, I want my art to reflect simplicity, because it is simplicity that often provides the most answers or provokes the most thoughtful reactions. Everyone connects and relates to the most simple parts of life because it is those moments which most long for. It is of this that I am certain.


I am the grandson of a coal miner from a small town in Plum Borough outside of Pittsburgh. The coal mine he worked in since he was thirteen years old now lays unused and neglected. I was born in Youngstown, Ohio eight years after the close of the last steel mill and lived there nearly two decades. My family spans the rust belt of America and has directly felt the effects of the death of the coal and steel industries. I was baptized, raised and confirmed in the Catholic Church. My artwork is based on these experiences, the experiences of my family, and more over the experiences of millions of the descendants of miners, or ex-Catholics, or those who pass the abandoned industrial parks of their hometowns every day.

Accumulation is a formal element of my work that draws from my background in fiber arts. My fixation on accumulation can be tied to witnessing rituals growing up. Whether they are spiritual or commonplace routines, rituals are a part of everyday life. Ritualism in Catholicism is a mixture of absurdity, pageantry and the sacred. This includes attendance at Mass, Holy Communion and Reconciliation, practicing penitence, and the prayers of the rosary. Everyday rituals are significantly simpler: shaving, transportation, going to the same task oriented job everyday, cooking, and housework. Conceptually, these ritual influences from my life augment the ritualism in my crafting and the art making process.

Transformation is an aspect in several of my pieces that can be attributed to the act of accumulation. By slowly building up subtle materials, a scale shift occurs from small to monumental. My pieces themselves are subtle at-a-glance but expressive and intricate when examined. Across a gallery, a viewer may miss my piece because of its muted color palette and material handling; however, the discovery benefits the piece by increasing intimacy between art and the viewer. Conceptually, my work is deliberately vague because my feelings are conflicted about the topics in my work. I view much of my family heritage and religious upbringing dualistically. For that reason I present both sides in my work. This allows for the viewer to: observe both sides, step into my world and make their own decision.


As an artist, I am obsessed with the idea of looking at the mundane in an absurd way. I am curious of the unknown and relish in the ridiculous. The more I cannot understand, the more interested I become.


Why Am I An Artist

I ask myself this question at least once a day and most of the time my answer is “I have no freaking clue.” My childhood dream when I grew up was to be an artist. As a student at OSU and a fine arts/film studies major I am making my childhood dream come true. This dream of mine has been in my heart and mind for over 15 years now and I am an artist to make this dream come alive.

When I create something, an assignment for class or something just for fun, I am in complete bliss. I get in this zone where nothing can burst my invisible bubble. The pieces that come out of this period of zen can be either art or not. Art is subjective, especially as a student, some people may think a creation is art where as someone else may say that its not, its more of a homework assignment or a hobby.

Everything I create I consider art, especially if it is a class assignment and/or it is in a medium I am not familiar with. I hope my work can just be appreciated as art. I want people to watch my videos, play with the interactive ceramic pieces, enjoy staring at the paint on stretched canvas. I want people to embrace the feeling of serenity, hilarity, or even craziness I feel when the pieces are created.


I find myself drawn to working on things that are very much so technology oriented and sometimes seem to be beyond my abilities. I often approach work currently based on prompts received in a class or through discussion with professors within the classroom. I often like to challenge myself while doing work to try things that are outside of my comfort zone, especially if it allows me to learn a new technique for creating something.

I tend to set out a plan in the beginning of a project and then use that as more of a guideline than a recipe for my works. I enjoy letting things happen spontaneously and try to let my work create its own feeling during the process of creation. I feel allowing my work to become something I had not planned on is something I do often, because I find it intriguing how even the best laid plans can result in the unexpected. Most of my work stems from frustration and urgency more than anything, largely because I often take far too long to decide what direction I want to go in, and less time working.

Currently my work is largely based in the technology side of art and predominantly within the computer itself. I have recently begun 3d modeling and am really excited about the possibilities it presents for bringing my thoughts into a visual piece.


As art I want my work to be something that will inspired thought and hopefully new ideas in the viewer. I try to create work that is aesthetically pleasing as well as highly conceptual.


The peas video project documents objects being created from the ground up and the natural benefits from doing so. Clips are taken from the documentation process of growing and eating Giant Oregon Pea Pods. The clips range from half-second to two-second durations. A musical accompaniment to the collage of videos gives a fun romp to the scenes as you go through the growing cycles. There are also naturalistic sounds heard allowing the viewer to enter the plants environment, and then help me wash, cook, and devour the pea pods. Documenting the peas growth was enjoyable and I wanted to express this in the video.