Upon completing this artwork, it was the largest assemblage that I made from multiple pieces of
cardboard. It was also the rawest, dirtiest and most fragile piece I had made up until that time.
I knew from the beginning that I wanted to focus on the relationship between the opposites that existed
in the central fragment of this piece, most notably light vs dark, harmony vs tension and preservation vs
destruction. For a long time the large grey fragment did not exist and if you cover that with your hand
and look at the rest of the piece you will see that it suddenly comes to an abrupt halt like a car crash. I
knew that the speed of the line was too fast and that the piece was limited tonally. I also knew that I
needed something large to balance the size of the wood panel on the right.
After adding the large grey cardboard on the left, very suddenly things started to come together and I
had a lot more to work with. At that time however, the black circles on the wood didn't exist and as a
result there was a very strong, one-two/grey part vs beige part feeling that were fighting terribly with
each other and were visually distracting from what was happening in the center. The black circles in the
center are dirt and they haven't been altered since finding the cardboard on the street. The
composition needed repetition and balance in the wood area so I took brown butcher paper and
smeared it with charcoal and made the circles and then attached the paper to the wood. After that I
knew I was close to the finished piece.
As an artist I learn new things from each piece I make and this artwork here was certainly a valuable
learning experience. I realized that it is my process of making and how I do it that leads me to the
finished artwork and the correlation between them. I know that sounds like a no-brainer but I can
remember being in my early twenties sitting in my studio late one night thinking, "I wish I could see the
artwork I make 10 years from now."
It wasn't until a few years after that I realized that that was a very naive and inexperienced thought. I
knew then that if I only saw the finished surface I wouldn't have understood how I arrived at that point
and I wouldn't be able to continue making art like that.
I guess in my case there is much truth in the expression, "It's not the destination, it's the journey."
UNTITLED COLLAGE VIII
35 x 63cm
Cardboard, wood & charcoal