ARTIST STATEMENT: For 20 years, my main body of work has been an investigation of concepts of sex, death, and spiritual offerings, fabricated with a variety of materials. My most recent work has explored these themes via complex sculptural installations executed in glass, encaustic, and marble. I am currently working on a series of marble pieces inlaid with precious stones using the centuries-old Pietre Dura technique, which speaks of timeless craftsmanship and a deep cross-cultural spirituality. I have used this combination of unique, rare materials and traditional technique to create a body of work that is substantial in both physical weight and symbolic significance.
Since 2008, I have been working closely with a group of Indian craftsmen. The first project we did together was very personal: it consisted of large marble and stone sculptures which incorporated information found in my own DNA, which I had analyzed through a program sponsored by National Geographic. This work was followed by several different groups of marble pieces, including the series Offerings/Redemption, and Treasures, a large-scale outdoor commission permanently installed in California. The most recent group of work includes Altar, which was shown in 2011 at the Proposition Gallery in New York City.
I have embarked on fabricating an ambitious new anchor piece to my larger â€œSex, Death, and Offeringsâ€ concept; titled Roman Wedding. The piece consists of a life-size marble â€œwedding bedâ€ based on the recliner-style klinai, used by the Ancient Greeks and Romans. Traditionally, the wedding bed would be used for many generations. In my marble version, the bed will be inlaid with symbolic markings in precious stone, suggesting the placement of the newly married couple on the bed. Represented on the bed will be the Lares and Penates (household gods) and the Priapus (fertility god), their presence an integral part of the ritual offering from the new bride. Laurels, rendered in sculptural encaustic elements, represent the Vestal Virgins and glorify the new union. Roman Wedding is a celebration of love, sex, and the renewal of life brought about by matrimony.
The precious stone, inlaid into the marble and worn down into smooth, inviting divots, will simultaneously be a guide for the act of consummation and suggestion of many generations past and future. The stone and marble, joined by the Pietre Dura technique, become one, an echo of the act for which the bed was created.