Growing up, I spent weekends with my father fixing up his boat. It was docked at Los Angeles Harbor, an industrial area near the cities of Wilmington and Carson. There were pumping grass-hopper oil rigs, massive beeping cranes loading containers onto giant freighters and a steel trussed bridge that split in two so the tankers could get through. I wasn't sure what these things were, but I loved their blunt utility, stark banality and filthy grandeur.
I remember laying on the splintered wooden docks with their rusted cleats and barnacle encrusted piers. I would look through rainbow-colored oil slicks, and get glimpses of darting fish below. We slept on the boat. The refineries were dramatically beautiful at night, as if they were strung with Christmas lights with sparking reflections on the water. During the week, my father ran a number of screw-machine and steel warehousing facilities near downtown Los Angeles, not far from where my studio is located now. He would bring home trays of odd machine parts and tools. Those objects were mysterious and fascinating to me and I would spend hours going through them.
Today I live and work next to a cement recycling plant. Industrial forms and textures surround me still. I tend to respond to surfaces that have been painted, weathered, cracked and decayed. These influences have made their way into my art. I build structures out of wood that recall steel trusses that hold up old billboards or bridges. I create layers of paint, plaster, fabric, polyurethane foam, and other materials that I scratch, gouge, crack and repaint many times. Through this process, I discover the mystery and beauty found all around in what others might overlook.
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