During the late 80’s and the 90’s I did allot of site specific installations which were very large and complicated. They were designed to immerse the viewer and be perceived from the inside out. (See the Installations link on the menu for examples.)
The “Mixed Media” works here were a conscious attempt to edit those installations into more specific pieces within defined parameters. The “Mixed Media” works were designed to be experienced from the outside in, rather than, from the inside out (as the installations had been designed).
The first piece here “Ford”, 1993, started with a deep childhood memory. I knew somehow I needed to make the inside of a 1949-50 Ford, as seen from lying on the floorboard and looking up at the inside of the lighted interior. I also needed to hear the sound of running water there (but not be in the water). When I was later explaining this piece to my mother she related a story that defined that memory.
From The Amarillo paper, Headlines “FOUR KILLED, 65 HURT IN AMARILLO TORNADO. PANHANDLE CAPITAL HEAVILY DAMAGED. Amarillo, Tex., May 16,1949 — (AP) — A skipping, whip-sawing tornado chewed up a four-square mile area in southern Amarillo last night, killing four people. About 65 were injured. It was the first destructive tornado in the 62-year-old history of this Panhandle capital of 102,000 people. Capt. Polk Ivy of the Texas Highway Patrol, state liasion officer in the disaster area, said local officials predict damage will total “something over one million dollars.” The Reconstruction Finance Corporation declared the stricken section a disaster area.Dawn found Red Cross and volunteer workers still picking their way through acres of shambles. It looked as if a big kitchen mixer dipped in, stirred everything up, and then spewed it around.
I was just two years old when this tornado hit Amarillo. My mother and father were concerned about my grandparents and decided to get in the car (a 1949 Ford) and drive to their house across town to check on them. Yeah, it wasn’t a good idea, but it didn’t end badly for us (or the grandparents). My mother said we were in an intense thunderstorm and that sheets of water were pounding the car. She became alarmed and wrapped me in a blanket and put me on the floorboard of the car (for my protection). She spoke to my father who was driving and asked him to go ahead and get moving. He said he had the car floored. They were literally driving into the strong winds and rain of this killer storm.
So, fast forward to 1993 and I needed to make the lighted inside of a 1949 Ford, which I did make from the pages of a dictionary (the defined world of adults). I mounted the Ford on a ladder that has been modified to look like a building. On the outside of the building are the words “See Dick Run” (quoted from my first grade reader). Leashed to the “ladder/building/school” is a coyote made from children’s shoes and other clothing. He has learned to sit like a good boy and pay attention to his lessons. I never quite worked in the sound of running water into the piece but I still remember it. The title “Ford” is meant to be a noun and a verb.
"Ford" 1993; Mixed Media(dictionary pages over steel mesh framework for the car, neon on the aluminum ladder, and cast bronze for the coyote); 106"H x 72"W x 64"D
"Ford" 1993; Mixed Media (detail of cast bronze coyote); 106"H x 72"W x 64"D
"Hip" 1994; Mixed Media (Neon, Cast iron, steel, and galvanized sheet metal) 34"H x 96"W x 48"D; Collection of the Art Museum at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas
"SheTree" (Blue Version) 1992; Mixed Media (plywood, lights, wall drawings, etc) 84"H x 57"W x 12"D
"SheTree" (Orange Version) 1992; Mixed Media (Bible house, roadmap deer, plywood, lights, wall drawings, etc) 84"H x 57"W x 12"D
"Bar Exam" 1993; Mixed Media (shoes, paint, steel table, with Law books, etc.) *2"H x 30"W x 28"D; Collection of a Law Firm in San Antonio, Texas
"BLOW/suck" 1993; Mixed Media (Plywood, found and altered aluminum ladder, neon); 60"H x 120"W x 60"D. This work grew out of a few experiences and their overlap. I was the fortunate reciepient of two residencies at the Arts Industry program of the Kohler Company in 1987 and 1993. The Kohler company is a manufacturer of plumbing components, and while I was there I thought of a great Exhibition title which I never actually got to do. It was supposed to be built around plumbing and would be called "Things that Blow and Suck and Drip and Run". I was also visitng Hawaii on a regular basis and spent allot of time scuba diving. I would float suspended under water and hear the sound of my breathing while watching the plants and fish move back and forth with the tide. And I was studying yoga and eastern religions. All this sort of came together here with the western ladder of progress or enlightenment running through the eastern orb of the Yin and Yang. And always flashing the pattern of breath BLOW suck BLOW suck BLOW suck ..............
BLOW/suck" 1993; Mixed Media (Plywood, found and altered aluminum ladder, neon); 60"H x 120"W x 60"D
"Moon" 1993; Bronze, Steel, and a Television; 68"H x 48"W x 30"D; collection of the San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio, Texas
"Princess" 1993; Mixed Media( wood, lights, paint, and drawing media); 36"H x 31"W x 7"D
"Princess #2" 1993; Mixed Media( wood, lights, paint, and drawing media); 20"H x 23"W x 5"D
"Unicorn" 1992; Mixed Media( Bronze mask, steel ladder, Bible house, wood, lights, paint, and drawing media); 21"H x 25"W x 4"D
"Float" 1992; Mixed Media( Bronze mask, steel ladder, metal house, wood, lights, paint, and drawing media); 49"H x 31"W x 4"D
"How" 1992; Mixed Media( Bronze mask, steel ladder, sheet metal house, wood, lights, paint, and drawing media); 36"H x 25"W x 4"D
"Hare"" 1992; Mixed Media ( wood, lights, paint, and drawing media); 42"H x 32"W x 12"D
"Circle" 1992; Mixed Media(steel. wood, lights, paint, and drawing media); 44"H x 36"W x 4"D