I often blanch at the heaviness of modern public sculpture. I stand in front of a piece and wonder what I’m supposed to feel. Direct Carving leaves me with no questions— you can see everything laid out before you.
Here’s a snip on Experience America:
The 1930s was a heady time for artists in America. Through President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal programs, the federal government paid them to paint and sculpt and urged them to look to the nation’s land and people for subjects. For the next decade —until World War II brought support to a halt—the country’s artists captured the beauty of the landscape, the industry of America’s working people, and a sense of community shared in towns large and small despite the Great Depression.
Many of the paintings in Experience America were created in 1934 for a pilot program designed to put artists to work; others were produced under the auspices of the WPA, which followed. The thousands of paintings, sculptures, and murals placed in schools, post offices, and other public buildings stand as a testimony to the resilience of Americans during one of the most difficult periods of our history.
Documentation isn’t just for making the conduct of my life more considered and effective— I also do it as my art. I took photos at Lincoln Marsh six times this year. I took the exact same photos as I have 42 times over the last six years, in an attempt to document how an Illinois natural areas changes through the seasons.
Family-wise, I was happy to document baseball seasons. To me, these aren’t just pics of my kids (though that is definitely a big part of it). I do this to try to capture what it was like to be 15 in 2015 and playing baseball in the summer in North America. What does it look like, feel like. What kind of light poles and bulbs did they have? What were the uniforms made of? What kind of typography do they use for lettering? Did it rain? What was the impact of that? What was the name of the preschool next to the field?
Here’s a video I made of a cattle show judge, capturing the language he used to score:
This September I finally made it to the Wyandot County Fair in Ohio. Shawn-Laree’s mother was born and raised on Fort Royal Farm in Cary, Ohio, and this is the county fair that has been central to their family for generations. Here’s a photo essay I did on the farm a while back: