Interested in Paul Rand and Milton Glaser, I pursued graphic design at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. As a design student, I was more broadly influenced by the Bauhaus, an institution still renowned for its approach to teaching and integrating craft, design and the fine arts. I worked in the field of graphic design until 1996 when I began a floral/event design business which lead me to the Hamptons where I later became the gallery assistant to Mark Borghi. Inspired by his vast inventory of modern artists,I started painting in an abandoned greenhouse and later in my home based studio when away from the gallery.
I am an interdisciplinary artist; I paint and sculpt and currently digital art/pigment prints are my focus. My practice is informed by my past experience as a graphic designer where I interpreted concepts and simplified ideas into symbols, and as a floral designer employing basic principles of dimensional form and space, proportions, and color relationships. In terms of outside experiences in secondary education and museum study, *Joseph Albers, Paul Jenkins, Helen Frankenthaler, Kenneth Noland, James Turrell, Olafur Eliasson, and Larry Bell have influenced my work.
The printing of “digital prints” may be more parallel to painting or drawing than print making. Because in print making, typically pigment is transferred from a plate, stone or screen making an impression. Digital “pigment prints” are not made from an impression or transfer of pigment; the mechanics of print heads dispense the pigments creating an image with droplets of ink onto the chosen substrate. Compositions are made with key strokes and a mouse or stylus such as a painter would use a brush or other implement so I view the process to be more similar to painting than print-making; the principles of conceptual thought, color theory and design, and the decisions one makes regarding composition and palette working in any medium remain essential acquired assets for an artist; technology has only provided a new instrument and the knowledge and ability to use such in a compelling way is as personal and unique to one working in this space as it is for any artist working in any medium.
The common thread running through my various disciplines is the influence of my Friends’ education.At the core of my thoughts is a preoccupation with light, community, acceptance, dynamism of communication, and symbiotic relationships. I work in a realm between photography and painting and painting and sculpture. In my digital work, I begin with photographs, appropriated images from video stills then manipulating such digitally which alters images of origin to the point of complete obscurity. My compositions are often dichotomous and ecliptic and likewise is the process. I also make images on the computer without photography as a foundation as well. When painting, I think like a sculptor handling materials and manipulating elements manually; my preference is to pour and slather in direct contact without brushes. I build up and take away and use materials such as wires and threads to draw with three dimensionally and choose to repurpose materials. Paintings begin on canvas but transform into objects between two and three dimensionality. My ceramics are about form but the surface texture is equally important; the use of fire in the Raku process produces textures and marks that emulate painting and drawing. The alchemy of wood fire and Raku firing methods whereby control gives way to serendipity interests me. As diverse as my work is, it is all about the process of making art as much as or more than the resulting artwork itself. My thought process and the conceptual nature of my work creates continuity which may appear difficult to understand based on aesthetics alone.
*The prominent Bauhaus artist, Josef Albers conducted extensive experimentation and analysis of color interactions. He demonstrated how our perception of individual colors is affected by combinations of colors by devising compositions that would remain constant while he applied variable color combinations. These exercises highlighted the effects of color relationships in a methodical and scientific manner. He unlocked the mystery of color interaction in a variety of contexts to explain how phantom colors mysteriously appear, two different colors can be perceived as the same, the same color can be perceived as different and how certain color combinations can become alive with vibration and appear to be moving in a stationary two dimensional picture. His influence is predominantly evident in my digital print making.
1980 Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York BFA in Communications and Printmaking
Awards & Honors
1978 Pratt Institute Recipient of Ford Foundation Grant
Park Towne Place's The Hadley, Philadelphia, PA
2008 - 2017 Agent, Various Artists
2008 - 2016 Curator & artist, Art Rent and Lease, Philadelphia, PA & New York, NY
2007-2010 Gallery Assistant, Mark Borghi Fine Art, Bridgehampton, NY
1992-1994 Freelance graphic designer
1985-1992 Owner, Dunham Communications and Design, Rancocas, NJ
2017 TREMOLO: A group show curated by Carolanna Parlatto, Rick Wester Fine Art, New York, NY
AIPAD Photography Show, Rick Wester Fine Art, New York, NY