I’ve always had a healthy respect for the worker. I’ve spent several years in various modes of manual labor, from landscaping to setting tile. I’ve appreciated the fellow laborers that I’ve come in contact with, though I’m particularly fond of my time working in a pottery factory where I learned the commercial process of mass production.My time spent behind the sixty-ton Ram press was where I had my most grating education. Eight hours of the machine’s deafening whine, pressing hundreds of clay wads into hundreds of pots, gave me some time to think. I realize that I’m lucky not only to have had interesting jobs but more importantly the ability and freedom to quit in pursuit of an education.
My recent work has been a meditation on the experience of labor. I’ve used both mixed media and kinetic elements as an endeavor to construct narrative sculptures, based upon specific personal incidents from the workplace. I’ve attempted to extract the basic elements of a job, interpreting them into the object, as an alternative way to tell the story of my continuing experience in the working class.Though based on my personal experience this body of sculpture holds some universality to the working lives of others.Most people won’t have the opportunity to run a Ram press, however the monotonous repetition, can be related to by almost everyone.
My work continues to echo my past, and as I work, reflection on process has become central to a piece’s development. Beyond the simple nod to the artist’s studio work, evidence of process alludes to the labor involved in its construction. The plight of the worker has become increasingly important to me, because I know that as many opportunities have opened to myself, just as many have been closed to the worker, who will only escape his labor in death.