‘You Make the Difference’ explores the nature of personal self-identification through the window of interior decoration. This work is the product of having been raised in a meticulously curated and creative home environment and an ode to the design-heavy era of the 1970s, a time also defined by heavy-handed ideas of individuality and the special flair of a particular perspective. Aesthetic daring and progressively styled learning tools were a central part of my formative visual world. These tools sparked an early interest in freedom and personhood expressed in an amalgam of venues and mediums including music, film, and collecting.
My father edited hand-illustrated children's books in the '70s and '80s. Our house was loaded with educational and promotional material produced by his company. My mother managed a dinner theater that was a second home to transient off-Broadway actors, magicians, touring musicians and regular comedians and celebrities of the day. Both of their careers operated as the central dynamic of our family during my childhood and directly influence the work I produce today. On a relatively isolated Midwestern cultural island, I was lucky enough to be exposed to the few homosexuals and outcasts that I would continue to align myself with.
As I child I was an avid fort-maker. I routinely redecorated and rearranged the rooms in our home. I felt comforted by my grandmother’s cluttered house and collections of anything under the sun. Many of my relatives possessed vast collections of seemingly valueless debris. My great-grandmother and her twin sister lived next door to one another at the edge of a corn field in homes too cluttered to even open doors- they were filled with clothes, newspapers, and fully-decorated Christmas trees all year round.
After many years working as a designer, my interest in interior decoration easily conjoined with an existing concentration in painting and sculpture. The tactile, the sensual, and self-identification exist harmoniously for me as expressed through building materials, discarded tchotchkes, paint and the creation of a specific environment.
I am interested in the visual and physical choices that represent reconciliation with the past, expressions of individuality, identity, and of religious beliefs or backgrounds. I recognize the art of collecting as hunting, protection, and status. The arrangement of objects in a home can belie their functionality. I feel protection from something hunted and found that is only of value to my particular tactile needs. I desire some objects and material as if to save them from possible misuse, and irreverence.
Interior is communication. What you may have in your personal space may serve as protection from harm or demonstrate that you are concerned with high-mindedness and spirituality. The objects occupying space may communicate that an interior life may act as a 'satellite' identity separate from our own bodies. Your surroundings could even live as compensation for personal shortcomings or a fractured family. The process of reclaiming space feels inhabiting, soothing, safe. These are the hidden places full of redefined and reordered sexuality, sensuality, gender neutrality, control, tenacity, state of being, conspicuousness, individuality and foundation.
I collect objects that have been cast off from mass-produced interior notions. I look for the object to possess a kind of sensuality with its form and evoke a strong sense of personal nostalgia. These objects can appear as doilies and playing cards or within wallpapers and pieces of decaying furniture, or glass fruit. I collage these objects and combine them with new materials and textures to please my sensibility and let it function as a new fantasy interior. Through this process, I find the root of new identities and attempt to untangle complicated personal narratives with a discerning appetite for creating meaningful and enhanced interior spaces.