The projects I have created for the last 22 years are the direct result of having been raised overseas as a resident guest in other people's lands.
Artists in Conversation:
From a historical perspective, images were often used to glorify a God or successful citizens (who served as an example of behavior that one should emulate) or to celebrate a hero (who sacrificed in service to the state). The relatively high cost and specialized skills needed for the production of imagery precluded the creation of artworks that challenged the existing powers.
It is important for artists to take things seriously; so seriously that we must enact a thoughtful plan to set ourselves up in a sustainable environment.
Artist finds dusty, unused space, convinces landlord to rent space, improves the raw space with the help of friends, neighborhood gets trendy, rents double, artist moves to another neighborhood. Repeat the scenario every two years. How many years do you put up with this cycle of dust and grime, and working in a really, unhealthy raw space? Artist gets tired. It costs too much to make art anymore.
I collaborated with Critical Art Ensemble and Beatriz daCosta to create a project of public science using Monsanto's patented RoundUp Ready (soy, canola and corn).
I had been brought up with the notion that making art or being an artist was not a viable way of life in today's America. Worse, I knew no artists already practicing with whom I felt a close kinship or with whom I might study.
My short career as an artist has been rewarding, transformative and demanding.
Just getting out of the studio to spend a few minutes on sending out email was a chore and was not really considered as a useful networking tool at the time.
In 1998, while visiting the countryside in The Netherlands, a friend pointed out that-counter to the laws of gravity-the water canals surrounding the fields on which we stood were actually flowing up a very slight incline. These waterways are, in fact, part of an old artificial hydraulic system of drainage and containment that has kept Holland above sea level.
With absolute conviction I believe and practice Ad Reinhardt's thesis put forth in "Extreme Routine."
Before I quit my day job to make a living as a full-time artist, I was the curator of a corporate art collection. Many of the issues I dealt with were the same as those of freelance art consultants. So, while I'm learning new things all the time, I feel like I understand where they're coming from more than I would if I hadn't had a job buying art with other people's money.