What is more powerful than looking at someone face to face?
While I am best known as an abstract sculptor, crafting intense, visceral and colorful sculptures, three years ago I began modeling and molding fantastical heads and faces. Originally the intellectual scaffolding for this project was to re-imagine the political villains of our time as grotesques and demons, much as Phillip Guston drew Richard Nixon in "Poor Richard." I soon became entranced by both the formal possibilities and emotional power of facial structure. Despite distortion, two eyes, a nose, and a mouth create a form that is instantaneously and universally recognizable. As I tinkered in the studio to find forms to capture the dark inner-workings of modern day scoundrels, other influences took root: Romanesque gargoyles, the hellish gods of Himalayan cloth paintings, the Rat Fink comics of Ed 'Big Daddy' Roth, and James Ensor's paintings of masked revelers confronting death.
The faces and heads I've made are far from traditional representation. They have a straightforward simplicity that my previous, faceless work does not, yet they live on the edge of abstraction. They can be as monstrous as they can be beautiful. Like any mask, they expose and obscure emotion, often at the very same time.
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