My art is always about
empathy: Humans’ empathy toward other humans, but also humans’ empathy
toward life forms that are different from us. Empathy lays bare the
connection between creatures (and can even do so
between breathing creatures and inanimate objects). In this
all-encompassing connection I find Nature, and I find Spirituality; I
see Life Itself. Others might call this greater overarching entity God.
In the light of such
thoughts, I often ponder humans’ role in this universe and on this
earth. We all are biological individuals who want to survive as long as
possible, even though we know our existence is a blip
in time in the greater scheme of things. We can’t help ourselves. For
the duration of each of our individual little lives, we are locked in
our body and personality, and want to make the best of the time we
But while doing this, we
observe humanity as a whole threatening to destroy the very thing we all
depend on: our planet. The planet can do without us; we can’t do
without the planet.
If we, and our children,
want to be around a bit longer, as individuals and as a species, we must
start seriously protecting the planet. We need to address other life
forms that, along with us, make this planet
what it is, in its incredibly complex balance of creatures that are
probably more interwoven than we ever realize. Empathy - our connection
with other creatures and things - is a crucial tool in that way
As a human and as an
artist, I explore these so-called “environmental” issues. One could also
call them ”existential”. Climate change and the omnipresence of plastic
have finally come to the surface of humans’ everyday
consciousness. One big problem that hasn’t reached that mainstream stage
yet is the dying-off of insects the world over, especially due to
pesticides in our human food production systems. Many insect species
haven’t even been discovered by humans yet, but here
they are, threatened with extinction. Astute observers will by now have
noticed the greater silence during hot summer nights, and the lack of
smashed insect bodies on the wind shield on a long car drive.
Insects generally get a
bad “rap”. They are not cute and furry; they look foreign to us; and
yes, we humans consider some insects pests. Yet their huge variability,
and the many functions insects serve - perhaps
most notably the functions of pollination and of being a food source to
other species - should give us pause. Our own food production depends on
insects with their pollinating properties - and not just those “cutest”
of insects, bees and butterflies.
But beyond seeing merely
their essential functions, I hope we can also see insects’ beauty. And
so, some of my newest art pieces are “Insects”. These figures offer odd
shapes and vaguely functional-looking parts
made of metal, plastic, or animal parts such as crab claws or snail
shells. They all have humanized heads, perhaps enabling the viewer to
more easily imagine the rich inner world that insects, too, probably
possess. How could they not? They fly. They sing.
They are easily enraptured with light and wind and smells and colors.
My “Fungi” also have human
heads, but look a lot more like each other, paying homage to our
understanding of fungal systems as life forms that have no central
nervous system, but a different kind of de-centralized
network. This network connects all its own wide-spread formations into
something greater than the sum of its parts; it also communicates with
trees and soil.
Nature can rouse awe in
us. We are always trying to understand how life, however we define it,
came to be, and how its physical manifestations are constantly changing
over time. There is still unfettered mystery
all around us, even as we humans think we are in control. I want to
convey that mystery with my art.
In the end, it all comes
down to allowing empathy, love and beauty into our short lives, so we
can make our time on this earth better, before we go back to the Great
Unknown. Why shouldn’t we?
I make art. I earn most of my money in other ways, and am busy with other projects. As long as I can have those occasional moments of blissful creation, am in an occasional show, and occasionally sell art to people who treasure it as much as I love making it, I am content. This blog offers glimpses into what I'm doing right now.