Plague Mask
This semester-long project was constructed using steel rod stock, hammered steel plates, a modified drum harness, black walnut, chrome plated bolts, and welding lenses. Careful consideration was taken into distributing the weight of the mask in a way that would be safe and comfortable for the wearer. My past involvement with drumlines helped me to effectively construct a piece that, when worn, feels much lighter than it actually is. The weight of the mask attempts to pull the wearer forward but is redirected through harness into their shoulders and abdomen. When warn, the mask is actually quite spacious and the weight is distributed very comfortably.
Heavy Hearted
This "heavy heart" consisted of a steel armature with plates of steel pounded onto the form. I'm a bit sentimental about this piece due to the fact that it took me an entire semester to complete and I was struggling with pneumonia for the last month of its construction. The hard work eventually paid off during the next semester when it became the recipient of a Citation Award for the University of Central Missouri's 48th Annual Citation Show.
Exceptional Excrement
This sculpture was an incredible joy to produce. It is composed of bronze that I sculpted in wax and then cast in bronze. It is laid upon a high quality turf, a cherry wood base, and a glass dome. It has been the "butt end" of many jokes and the inspiration to numerous laughs. My teacher, Mr. Zupnick, enjoyed the humor just as much as I did and was more than happy to point out that it was a total "piece of sh*t." What I enjoyed most about this piece was the different reactions people had to it. Some people absolutely loved it while others (mainly my wife) hated it. It generates discussion on what can be considered art, what is "bullish*t," and what is beautiful. I took something that is normally referred to as disgusting and made it beautiful. Beyond that, I proved that you can, in fact, polish a turd.
Organ(ic) Produce: Apple a.k.a. "Fluffy"
This project was created using plaster, acrylic paint, and acrylic body parts. From there, I placed them on a bed of preserved moss and housed them in special cages.
Organ(ic) Produce: Creepy Pear
This fruit, was one of my favorites. It was simple, a little creepy, and also a little adorable.
Conceptual Conception
Pictured is a mixed media sculpture entitled "Conceptual Conception." The piece offers a tongue-in-cheek illustration of the "birth of an idea." It features five bronze sperm cells, a wooden base, steel rods (to hold the sperm), and a lamp. The individual sperm and their corresponding rods were each arranged from smallest to largest as well as shortest to highest to give them the appearance of swimming towards the light.
This piece is understandably not for everyone. My hope is that with a little bit of explanation, however, it will be understood and appreciated. I created this piece as a form of social commentary. In it, we see a vagina, representing femininity, and penis, representing masculinity. In our society, masculinity tends to be more highly regarded than femininity. In my opinion, this should not be the case. Womanhood, for me, is synonymous with strength, creation, and beauty. We tend to regard things that we consider feminine fragile. In truth, women are capable of immense strength. The birthing process, for women, is something no man will truly understand. It's a painful process that would put most men to tears. Beyond that, every month women go through the repetitive cycle of menstruation with fewer complaints than most of my fellow men do when they can't find the TV remote. I felt womanhood should be celebrated so I cast it in bronze. Manhood, on the other hand, needed to be put into a more realistic perspective than society tends to exhibit. Manhood is represented with a less valuable, weaker, and less glorified material. It still has beauty but is not revered above womanhood. I also made it a point to give it an average length. The measurement of a man should not be done in inches; but rather, actions. Both pieces are mounted to identical bases so that they can viewed comparably.
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