Spotlight: Gods, Heroes, and Saints Revisited

Artist Statement

My work is a reflection of past cultures, distorted by a mirror of aged antiquity, seen through a haze of modern neon lights. In this blurred reflection appear the remnants of shared beliefs, fears, joys, mistakes, angers, atrocities, and hopes. Is it possible that in thousands of years of civilization, the motives, drives, and emotions behind human behavior have remained the same; that every step forward is just a reinterpretation of forgotten pathways?

Currently this reflection is manifested in the appropriation of western iconic classical sculptures. In these appropriated sculptures, the ancient god, hero, or saint is replaced by a contemporary celebrity, politician, or sports figure. This is done in order to draw a parallel between the past and present cultures, and to open a dialogue on the function of these figures within each society. Throughout time these ancient figures, given form by a sculptor’s hand, represented societal virtues. The figures have functioned differently within each culture, spanning from the Greeks, to the Romans, from the popes, and up to the present. When first created, they were imbued with meaning, carefully thought out and executed in order to illustrate the intended function. Unfortunately, for most their original meaning is lost. All that remains is a hunk of marble chiseled in the form of a strong muscular male form or a seductive female figure. The same fate awaits our current icons.

By appropriating the classical sculptures and substituting contemporary figures I am seeking to perpetuate the aura of the original artwork. In doing so I am making the names of the forgotten gods, saints, and heroes known, the ancient myths and scriptures remembered, and immortalizing current celebrities.

I received my BFA from Ohio Wesleyan University in 2008 and earned my MFA from the University of Kentucky in 2012. Currently, I am teaching and creating art in Columbus, Ohio. My work typically addresses issues of identity, both on a personal and cultural level. Ultimately, I hope to open a dialogue with the viewer, in order to further examine our culture’s ideas and ideals, as well as consider how future generations will view the thoughts and actions of this point in time.