Exist is body of work that explores the creative and destructive energies inherent in the universe. The pain and suffering of existence is inevitable, but there is also the will to transcend and triumph. In part, I've been exploring Kant's theory of the sublime as a beautiful aesthetic experience that includes disaster and tragedy. I'm also intrigued by the Wabi-Sabi world view of beauty that is imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. And then there is the philosophy of Mono No Aware; suffering and melancholy that is colored with a quiet joy of being witness to the beauty of life, however fleetingly.
The artworks are grouped into triptychs connected through process. I begin by creating unblemished, 'perfect' ceramic sculptures; newborn. The sculptures are then shattered into pieces, a reflection of entropy and the chaotic nature of reality. The damaged sculptures are re-constructed into new forms; disfigured but intact, flawed beauty. The last stage of the process results in a painting that synthesizes the entire process of transformation, becoming the embodiment of a new 'whole'. The stages of the process are intended to be seen together, some represented through documentation only. There are a couple original sculptures that have been spared from destruction, the lucky ones, my favorites. These appear resistant to the forces of chaos, but alas this is an illusion as entropy will work on them imperceptibly over time. Exist is meant to be simultaneously brutal and hopeful, just like life.
After Life artworks are an extension of the work of Exist. The images are from polaroid photos I took of ceramic sculptures, some of which no longer 'exist' - the images are then digitally manipulated, printed on paper and transformed with color pencil and gouache paint. These are new works in the overall body of Exist, representing a denouement, a final chapter in the arch of a life and transcendence to a life after.