The Patriot Series began in 2004 as a response to the state of my country. I believe it is important to create artwork when you wish to speak politically. Presently, the Series is ongoing. Download the complete Artist Statement here.
I Pledge Allegiance, was created in the summer of 2004 and exhibited at the faculty exhibition at the Joseloff Gallery on the campus of the University of Hartford in the fall of 2004. The piece was a reaction to the Iraq war and the nature of security. It questions the concept of allegiance and the system of Homeland Security.
The piece is large, 36″ x 48″. The shape is rectangular and hangs on the wall with screws through grommet holes. Two pieces of red string are threaded through the print and hang from the middle of each palm. The strings are long and lay on the floor in two separate circular puddles. The flag is displayed with the union down signifying dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.
This piece was re-exhibited in 2013 at the Pump House Gallery in Hartford, CT. It was included in DADA Hartford. For this context, I felt it was an appropriate artistic response to the weekly gun violence we endure in our country—without any clear resolution on how to stop it.
The Uniform of the Day, a collaboration with writer Robert Dennis, is both sculptural and performance-based and was originally shown in 2006 at the Joseloff Gallery, University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT. The performance was from January 10th – February 24th, 2006 and involved myself and four other performers.
What does a uniform communicate? Sameness? Belonging to a group? Power? In military speak, “the uniform of the day” is the dictated apparel required of all members of the group for any particular situation.
In this piece, there is a “uniform” for each of the seven days of the week. From some perspectives, they are all the same. Yet, they are all different. There is no dictate as to what to wear, only the wearer’s state of mind and connection to the outside world. And each message is intended to generate comment, or initiate dialogue.
The 2006 Performance:
The performers chose a T-shirt to wear for the day, based on a message they wanted to communicate to the public. The message could have personal, local, national or international connections. The performer wore the shirt hoping that the public would engage in dialogue with them. The performer then chose what to record on the daily web blog. You can download the complete recording pdf here. In 2006 the performers were: myself; Kelly Burns, a high school art teacher in the Hartford, CT area; Christine Gerber, an elementary teacher in the Boston area; Justin Good, a lecturer, writer and philosopher in the Middletown, CT area; and Alfred Martinez, a New York-based fine artist.
What does it take to be loved? was created at the end of 2014. The work is mixed media and large in scale—22.5 x 44 inches plus space underneath for hanging thread. It is intended to be hung unframed from nails and grommets.
This piece asks questions about images of women, domestic violence, and how women build their lives within these constructions. I loved working on this piece, because I took an old print, tore it up and then gave it new life.
Can I Breath Now? [Costs-to-date: $9,568 and lots of time] $9,568 (today’s price if you want to buy it), created in 2016, is a piece that deals with the cost of health care in the United States. It is made from “ready-mades,” or mixed media.
Quote used in the piece: “However hopeless the situation appears to be there yet always exists the possibility of putting up a stubborn resistance.” Paul Keres