My work is biographical--part intensive research and part invention and improvisation. Investigating and understanding another’s life and practice is a richly challenging adventure of discovery.  The journey leads both outward and inward. When a New York Times obituary or individual profile first grabs my attention, I am initially drawn to an exotic otherness, but what holds my interest over the long haul of creating a whole new body of work is also the gradual recognition that I and the subject of my inspiration have a common nexus.  Although individuals whose lives have inspired my work can be as different from each other as University of Connecticut horticulturalist Sidney Waxman and Coney Island side show performer Melvin Burkhart, one common ground is a resonance with my own aesthetic and personal experience. 

I began my research on mineralogist Clifford Frondel by studying and drawing four of his minerals at the American Museum of Natural History and interviewing his successor as director of the Harvard Mineralogical Museum.   But ultimately the works created for *Rock Stars*, the project based on Frondel’s life, were equally influenced by my personal passion for amassing collections of unusual objects and a fascination with the mysteries of old-fashioned natural history museums.

My art-making process is improvisational and multi-layered, frequently shifting back and forth between two and three-dimensions.  Wall installations consisting of drawings, photographs, paintings, mono-prints and artifacts are often large aggregations of small elements, allowing frequent reconfiguration and gradual increment over time. The layered nature of the work is closely linked to principles of collage--easily absorbing combinations of what might superficially seem incongruous materials and concepts.  Specific forms and materials are chosen to reflect the unique nature of each new biographical narrative. In evoking a life, I am equally interested in both the smallest technical detail and my subject’s overarching world view.

The impulse to reconstruct the essence of another’s life recognizes both the temporal boundaries and yet limitless expanse of a single life in the continuity of time.  While there is often a strong memorializing focal clarity to my work, I look for forms and combinations of materials that are expansive and ambiguous. This reflects my belief that a life well lived cannot ever be completely defined, explained or comprehended.

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