Mountaintops are said to represent full states of consciousness, while pilgrimages up sacred mountains symbolize spiritual aspiration, a hope to give up worldly desires. My projects as an artist and filmmaker, however diverse the form, subject or narrative, all seem to be bound up in or loosely connected to an interest in how friendship, personalized ritual, and storytelling can make paper-mâché mountains move in people’s lives. I make the distinction paper-mâché mountains for several reasons. First, to point to a person’s specific experience of creativity and spiritual transformation by seeing mountains not as unmovable, formidable foes to conquer, but as simple monuments of one’s own creation signifying those spiritual longings unique to the individual, buried somewhere below the pressure of history, society and culture. I love the the small story nestled within larger, expansive social landscapes and often look to those spaces overlooked, hidden, forgotten before a backdrop of remembered history – the lost narratives of family and home, the subculture within subculture, and those personal stories kept secret and shared. I make the distinction paper-mâché mountains to also comment on the materials I feel compelled to work with – woodcuts, drawings, clunky stop-motion animation, super-8 film, simple objects drawn from personal environments or recycled from older work, even paper-mâché itself. All these materials seem to evoke the haptic, the recognition of an object, a story, or a memory emerging through the sense of touch. And so by using materials that are familiar or accessible, I hope to create a strong connection with my audience, providing a visual, poetic meditation for thinking, seeing, and feeling the metaphors and mystery in their own lives.
I'm a visual artist, animator, writer/director in film, comic book artist, tarot reader, energy healer, and resident of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.