Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition
Utah State University, 2011
As human beings we have an innate hunger for meaning and, not coincidentally, an interesting ability to assimilate patterns, to recognize working systems. For all our ability to reason and assimilate, however, concrete answers to our questions of meaning and our hunger for understanding are elusive, vague and often lacking.
In my work I pursue a two-fold exploration. On the one hand I want to express my fascination with that riddle of the human condition, of our need for meaning and our parallel inability to pinpoint it concretely. On the other hand I am fascinated with the fact that our ability to assimilate and reason is not limited to a weighty existential crisis: we also celebrate that ability when we play games – we can figure things out for fun, and because we like to. To keep grounded in that sense and celebration of play, I base my forms on the contours of unorthodox jigsaw puzzle pieces. I then incorporate elements of scale, topography, surface, arrangement and imagery that highlight that original contour while simultaneously lifting it wholly out of its original context. The enigmatic form that results is intended to pose an open-ended question to the viewer concerning the underlying meaning to an implied organization.
An immediate formal encounter demonstrates a visual relationship among the parts, a pattern to the surface treatments and an intention with the overall contours. Through that encounter, I want to stimulate in the viewer the desire to seek the source of a visually evident system. By not proffering concrete answers about that source, I intend to encourage the viewer to bring to his encounter elements from his own experience and perspective, which will play a significant part in any conclusions he may draw. On a broader scale, this work is intended to call to the viewer’s attention the more mysterious aspects of the human experience, aspects in which we can take a measure of joy without necessarily fully understanding them.