My assemblages are a natural outgrowth of the altars of junk I used to build everywhere. All my life Iíve collected what I like to call lost objects. In the mid-80s when I quit playing music professionally, I started making my altars more structured and contained by putting objects in boxes.
I am influenced by the work of Joseph Cornell, although I depart from his style in working the sides of the boxes, activating the walls both inside and out, painting the complete box. Another influence is Man Ray and his collages, and of course Rauschenberg and the whole found-object movement are always there somewhere in the background.
In each of my pieces there is a juxtaposition of objects that are incongruous but that work together around a central object to make a statement that is sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical, sometimes humorous, and always reflective of my somewhat offbeat vision.
I like to think of the pieces as visual poems. The boxes I use are often drawers from construction and remodeling job sites, continuing the theme that runs throughout my work of using the leftover materials from our throwaway culture. I also use organic materials and man-made objects from all ages. Pretty much anything I find is fair game. I keep a huge collection of materials. Starting a new piece could begin with painting or preparing the box, or it could begin with an object. Certain objects present themselves to me, and ideas arise of how they can be combined to form new objects that are basically little sculptures. The work is a process of problem solving, working with the objects I have to express a theme based on one or two central elements. Itís a process of building but also a process of elimination, not unlike playing a game of chess.
Over the years my boxes have become smaller. I use fewer objects, but I make each one count more. The construction is a form of storytelling, and I love to tell my stories.