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When I found this stone in 1984 I knew I stumbled on something that could challenge me for the rest of my life, and I haven't been disappointed. A few years ago I found that saying "I carve paintings out of stone" was the best way to start describing my sculptures. It sounds outrageous and demands an explanation.
I continue to explore the diversity of the stone I'm calling Farrago and often use paintings as inspiration. My earliest direct reference to a painter was my Muse of Decision/Resolution of Intent pair from 1991, which could have stepped whole out of a Giorgio De Chirico painting. Other direct quotes come from Paul Klee (arrows) and Jean Dubuffet (Art Brut), Yves Tanguy and Willem de Kooning.
Kirk's Exploding Paint is, well, exploding paint. Andre Breton has some Dali in him, as well as the original inspiration for the piece, a Man Ray solarized photograph of Breton with his shock of hair radiating.
The argument can be made that I'm a frustrated painter, and if that's so it's had some good results. I know I would have liked to have started off with a firm knowledge of faux painting, since I think it might help visualize the final effects.
The physicality of sculptural metaphor has always had a stronger effect on me than those of literature and painting. I have chosen to directly carve a stone that is almost alive in it's own right, a hydrothermally formed flow of color as varied as a sunset painting abstractions on the clouds. We have all imagined forms in clouds at times, and react to the various temperaments of the sky. I see this stone as a geologic counterpart to those clouds and look to give shape and sustenance to the fleeting images evoked by the creations of nature.
Stone carving needs a new direction to elevate the truly creative possibilities of the artist's vision above the sad state of sculptural creations since the death of Isamu Noguchi. I believe that a sculptors art is about communication with a material and it's inner life of image and emotion, as Noguchi and Constantin Brancusi continued to affirm throughout their lives.Many of my sculptures reflect a fundamental interest in the thinking process and the people that have influenced my life. Years of meditation and periods of lucid dreaming have perhaps given me the ability to see deeply into the essence of these materials and create an image that is a conversation with the material.
An early awareness of life's ironies and absurdities led me from literature (Kafka and Dan's Papers) to a study of the Dadaist and Surrealist movements and a continuing interest in the psychology of humor. Creating these images for myself seemed only natural, and my world soon became populated with absurdist conveniences. Broken refrigerators became stereo equipment cabinets, wringer washing machines became coffee tables and Volkswagen carburetors morphed into nightlights.
Objects became Objecks, borrowing form Alastair Crowley's distinction between magic (tricks) and Magick (sorcery) and the raw materials for their creation became Obtainium, a word used to describe just about anything I could get my hands on. The word itself was taken from Marc Pauline and his Survival Research Laboratories, who coined it to define the wondrous ability of this natural resource to make itself available to those in need.
These creations actually enhanced my abilities as a designer in the technology industry. My prototypes and design fixes teemed with humorous reapplications of existing hardware and gave my final products an air of individuality mixed with the complexity of simplicity. All of these events led me to the belief that I had very strong artistic abilities and an overwhelming desire to develop them.
The humor and iconoclasm of my Pop-Surrealist Modified Ready-mades is apparent in all of the materials that I would later work with, and I feel privileged to have had such a fertile medium in which to mature.
Rants and Raves
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