Form over function or function over form?
Furniture and sculpture. Audiences often regard these as opposing terms. For whatever reason, the idea that a fine art object could have a function can be challenging to many viewers. Yet sometimes, the ability to separate the two is simply impossible.
I make works that strive to bridge the gaps between these two worlds. From the outset, I believe that a functional object should have aesthetic qualities, and that an aesthetic object, to be successful, may certainly have functional qualities.
As a result, when I create, I start with the idea of making furniture. While my approach is artistic in nature, my initial concern is with the function of the object. I work from the ground up, understanding that a proper base is necessary for the success of any piece. Once I have resolved this crucial issue, both functionally and aesthetically, I begin working upwards. From this point, I allow my aesthetic choices, as well as aspects of chance and the qualities of the materials, to all come into play.
From my initial, often loose, conceptual framework, I develop a resolved piece that addresses my functional and aesthetic concerns. I carefully consider the surfaces and finishes of each object, as well as their abilities to fulfill their intended purposes. I ask myself, “Is this cool?”
My artistic decisions reflect the creative choices I make between the purely functional and the purely decorative. Each either challenges or reinforce the ones that immediately preceded it. Sometimes, in the end, the work ends up on the scrapheap. As someone who develops ideas throughout the construction phase, this outcome is inevitable. At the same time, the ability to start with the idea of something functional, and to develop it into something that is visually exciting, is my ultimate goal.
These objects, when they work well and look good, stand as evidence of the space between furniture and sculpture, a space I am exploring all the time.