Rocko Rocket is a children’s book character I created with my wife Yolande in 1995. As I worked on this project over a seventeen year period, I came to understand that for me, Rocko Rocket is a symbol of imagination. This understanding transformed the character’s story into a metaphor for the creation process. And, the objects in his story symbolize the components necessary for this process to take place.
This revelation created fertile ground for expression, and work began to flow. Most of the work is playful and optimistic about science and technology. It also identifies the type of imagery that spoke to me as a child. The work has a highly polished graphic style, that seems to be digitally produced. In contrast is the archaeological Futuralith(future rock) series, that cautions viewers about the dangers of an approach to technology without sustainability. These works like time capsules fossilize objects and iconography from our current time in concrete. This turns the viewer into an observer from the distant future. It also objectifies our current behavior surrounding consumption by presenting a very possible undesirable outcome. The end of civilization is implied by the very presence of the lith-type object itself.
The aesthetic approach to the paintings I call, Digirealism. It mirrors what the Photo-realists did with photography the late 1960’s. It also reevaluates Andy Warhol’s elevation of printmaking as high art, since it has now become mostly a digital process. The work begins by collecting visual information from vector or digital illustrations, then hand painting works that appear to be printed, digitally produced illustrations. This approach, in my opinion, invigorates, elevates and adds value to the underlying conceptual structures embedded in work. It achieves this by utilizing techniques that simultaneously exhaust and emphasize the forth dimension of time. Since 1960 time as commodity has inflated seven times in value according to the federal minimum age. Thus, this approach also reclaims the importance of time consuming craft, and emphasizes the significance of manipulating materials with skill.