Over the past 45 years of making art, I have had shows with symbolic
statements. I have chosen to read some of these artists
statements as a brief history and in relation to the works in
this show. I am interested in the process of Survival, why some
individuals, species or communities survive while others do not.
In 1975 I confronted impermanence with four family deaths. Using
wet clay as a metaphor, and clay masks of family and friends,
I made visceral art about mortality and the power of the now.
We are always in the state transition, of becoming; we need to
take the time to mourn that which is passing so that we are free
to receive that which is being born.
of the roles of an artist is to give form and clarity to unformed,
often unconscious and sometimes uncomfortable material. Concsious
confrontation can lead to creative awareness, dialogue and actions.
Therein lies hope for positive solutions, healing and survival.
In 1978, I went to Hungary in search of family survivors of the
holocaust. Several years later, I had a show at the Judah Magnes
Museum. While the original intent was to make a memorial to those
who perished, it became more about those who have the courage
work with performance, a variety of materials and firing techniques,
and wet works in process, to xpress, unearth and magnify crucial
moments of transition. By working with live performance and materials
that change and disappear, I hope viewers will pay closer attention
to the now.(Marty) Raku and wood firing processes are metaphors
for the union of human artistic creation and nature, the elements
of earth, water and fire. The finished works
are just byproducts reflecting physical firing results that occur
during these collaborative transitions, leaving the textures,
beautiful scars and memories of the fire and ash. In some Japanese
pots, fire-scarred cracks are filled with real gold making them
more valuable. So it is with our raku and wood-fired works as
expressions of ourselves: we are more beautiful, more lovable,
and more valuable because of our scars.
have done site specific installations about community and environmental
issues, usually including community participation. (Guillermo
and kids) I work with children at risk, who often believe they
are unlovable throwaways in a society that doesnt care.
I believe making beautiful and expressive artworks helps them
discover and feel good about themselves, gives them voices to
be heard, and is a process of self discovery that nurtures self-worth.
the transformative power of artistic expression with students
reinforces my belief in the relationship between creativity and
healthy survival. I believe that we have an innate desire to heal;
with compassion and creative intelligence, we have the power to
reverse negative impacts with positive solutions and hope for
healthy survival, both individually and communally. At a time
when human life on earth is in danger, we all need to understand
the importance of creativity and the nature of the survival process.