|double creatures(2011): artist's statement|
Working in cut paper presents interesting challenges and revelations for someone with right-left dyslexia, like me. I’ll have an initial thought about how two creatures ought to oppose one another, facing separate ways in the painting I’m developing. Then, at the end of the cutting process I’ll discover that I’ve reversed one of them, and so they’re twins, shadows of one another, and not enemies at all.
I envision each of the two creatures in Double Horsesuit as being composed of two fat dudes inside of a horse costume, one for the head and one for the tail, like you might see in a play or a Balinese ritual. The guys in the suit with the star-shaped spurs are basically about Looking Big. I cut them out of a photo of the BMW headquarters outside of Munich – they’re sort of hiding their soft bellies inside of a big machined-out power suit – and as a result they don’t look much like people anymore, or like animals either. Meanwhile, the guys in the deep purple suit are about Giving Praise. They say, “Hey! We’re two fat dudes in here, and we admire and give thanks for the things we can’t control, like horses and the night sky. It appears some birds enjoy the antlers we’ve added to our costume, which is a real blessing. Our ears have been made long through listening."
Double Mother and Double Rockette also work this way: in each pair, there's a Nature version of the figure, and a Culture version - one with fancy shoes and one without, one with clothes that cloak the body, and one without. Maybe these take turns being the inward & outward forms of one total being.
Though the above may sound as though I’m describing opposite teams in the Existential Superbowl, the fact is that the two creatures face the same way, share the same longing to thrive, and are born of the same basic drawing. I think of the Double Creatures as koans, or teaching conundrums. Us/Them, Red/Blue, Hero/Foe. Really?