Statement

Rooted in the late 19th century, miniature golf courses, seaside resorts, amusement parks, carnivals and fairs have evolved as modern phenomena alongside the growth of leisure time and expendable income. And as we quickly move forward in the 21st century, the first generations of these kitschy American pastimes are defunct, destroyed and left by the wayside for their contemporary counterparts, built to be shinier, bigger and better. These new versions lack authenticity, yet are specifically themed to evoke a keen sense of nostalgic pleasure in their audience through collections of carefully considered signs and structures. These manifestations, often derived from places, spaces and moments of the past, become rife with false histories and implicit narratives. Our varied experiences of them become a clear reflection of our personal histories and desires. As a former employee of two of the major theme park industries, I am familiar with the production and utilization of theming to tell a story and sell an experience. I am fascinated by the power of themed environments to immerse an audience into a vast array of worlds and emotions.

 

My work explores these facets of leisure culture through two distinct approaches, that of the gallery and that of the public sphere, a direct result of the context for the environment in which the work will exist. Within the parameters of a white-walled space, I’m interested in deconstructing objects of kitsch, glorifying the spectacle and investigating a world of artifice. However, the weight of my practice is established in the creation of work intended for a wide public audience. By referencing the memorable aesthetics of a bygone era and appropriating iconic tropes such as signage, stylized fonts, specialized color palettes, anthropomorphized characters, oversized objects and bright lights, I am able to bring new life to mundane or vacant spaces and encourage people to re-imagine the urban spaces in which they live. I view fun as a catalyst for positive change and strongly believe in the importance of creating physically immersive spaces where people of all ages and demographics are given permission to play.

 

I am influenced by a number of contemporary artists whose work addresses humor and play through sculpture, installations and interactivity including Friends With You, Benedetto Bufalino, Misaki Kawai, Tonya Solley Thornton, Matthew Barton, Maurizio Cattelan and Andrea Loefke.