Perfection, like silence, is a concept that exists hyperbolically, but never literally. Perfection functions for me as means of circumventing stagnation, the way a carrot on a string dangles in front of a donkey. I strive for this, fully aware of the paradox: humans are incapable of perceiving perfection. The Parthenon is an impeccable example of meticulously constructed imperfection - the closest we can get to perfection. Likewise, Cage’s definition of silence contains the sounds of bloodstream and heart rate. Both concepts embrace contradiction while understanding that seemingly opposed ideas can coexist without negating one-another.
To strive for the unattainable creates a feedback loop in which an end is never reached. In this endless endeavor, I confront many characteristics which I cherish: discipline, devotion, patience, attention to detail, among countless others.
Discipline is often the first step in my creation. Creating as a means of training oneself, rather than for the sake of expressing oneself. To control and also let go of oneself, rather than to represent personal experiences. Discipline paves the way for control, which in turn can lead to intentional lack of control if it is desired.
Devotion goes hand in hand with discipline. In order to implement discipline, it is imperative to be able to fully engage in work in order to see it through. To be willing to spend the time that it takes to finish a project fully, even if it is a small one. A wise artist once told me, “Be the project big or small, do it right or not at all.” He was the same person who said, while looking at a mistake of his in a book, “This mistake tortures me every time I see it. The time it would have taken to fix it is nothing compared to a lifetime of staring at it.” To take the time to do things correctly requires patience during work as well as attention to detail - not only the ability to examine that outside of you, but also to examine yourself with keen insight.
While being drawn to meticulous detail and machine-like human craft, I am also enamored with the humanity of poets such as Yevgeny Yevtushenko. His compassion, coupled with his dark Russian demeanor make for a very honest and straight-forward expression of love for human-kind. In addition to his content, his writing style (at least in the English translated versions) resonates with me. Rather than drawing out elaborate pictures over paragraphs, he describes worlds in mere sentences. This act of saying through not saying, relates to the Japanese concept of “ma”, which is the space between things. That is to say, the space between is as important as the things it is between. The paradox of what is not there being just as important as what is there.
All of these influences are manifested in my work through a variety of mediums. Whether it be music, printmaking, drawing, sculpture, cooking, or anything else, my work exemplifies these different aspects of human existence, which I believe compose a larger picture of the best person that I can be.