On Drawing ...
"Drawing for me has always been a constant in my creative process regardless of which media I've worked in. Whether I'm painting, sculpting, or photographing, I always make time to draw. I find the process to be the most liberating and, in many ways, most satisfying. I can allow my hand to move intuitively, the preliminary pencil lines guided by kind of subconscious wandering followed by a conscious array of pen strokes. The key is to know when to stop since ink offers no true subtractive maneuvering."
On Monsters ...
"I've always made odd creatures. My mom saved some drawings that I created when I was about three years old. The figures in these drawings show not only the distorted perceptions of a child, but a fascination with skulls, teeth, spirographic eyes, and invented body parts. This obsession with strange creatures continued throughout my youth. Monster models, war dioramas, dinosaurs, and horror movies [this included "Creature Double Feature" on Saturday afternoons, of course] occupied much of my time."
"My creatures are called monsters by some, but I often feel that the connotations associated with "monster" don't always apply to these little guys unless one can add descriptors like "vulnerable" and "fragile" to the definition of monster. Maybe I have issue with the monster moniker because I see my critters as self-portraits. Nick Capasso, director of the DeCordova Museum, once referred to my work as 'little exorcisms' and I like that description. The idea that I expel my inner demons in the form of drawn, painted, or sculpted critters appeals to me."
"In my work I see beings that are both powerful and powerless. They struggle with their ugliness and debilitation but are also somewhat at peace with it. I see a tension within these characters, and when two or more are juxtaposed together that tension only increases. The result may evoke a burst of laughter or yelp of fright."
Artist Bio / CV
SELECTED SOLO/TWO-PERSON EXHIBITIONS
2010 New Works, Galerie Polaris, Paris, France
2010 Hope Springs Internal, POVevolving, Los Angeles, CA 2009 Distant Cousins, Swarm Gallery, Oakland, CA
2009 No One We Know, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
2008 Picket Fencing, Swarm Gallery, Oakland, CA
2008 New Works, TAG Art Gallery, Nashville, TN
2007 Strange Fruit: Bad Seeds, Receiver Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2007 Metamorphosis Chamber, FPAC Gallery, Boston, MA
2007 New Works, TAG Art Gallery, Nashville, TN
2006 Headache, Boontling Gallery, Oakland, CA
2006 Along Came a Spider, 33 Grand, Oakland, Oakland, CA
2005 Creature Double Feature, National Product, San Francisco, CA
2005 Unusual Suspects, Cricket Engine Gallery, Oakland, CA
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONs
2010 Secret Drawings, Palo Alto Arts Center, Palo Alto, CA
2010 Four Play, Webb Gallery, Waxahachie, TX
2008 Bay Area Currents, Oakland Art Gallery, Oakland, CA
2008 No Brow, Black Maria Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2008 Diverse Chorus, Neurotitan Gallery, Berlin, Germany
2008 FasTrak – A bridge and Tunnel Survey, Lobot Gallery, Oakland, CA
2007 The Diane and Sandy Besser Collection, de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA
2007 Immigrant Punk, Black Maria Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2007 Banai/Godzilla, SFMOMA Artists Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2007 Free Parking, OKOK Gallery, Seattle, WA
2007 Graphic: New Bay Area Drawing, di Rosa Preserve, Napa, CA
2006 I Think We Better Split Up, Receiver, San Francisco, CA
2006 Boontling Allstars, Boontling Gallery, Oakland, CA
2006 666, Blankspace Gallery, Oakland, CA
2001 Terrors and Wonders: Monsters in Contemporary Art, DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA
“John Casey, Scarecrow,” Published by Rowan Morrison, Oakland, CA
“The Upset: Young Contemporary Art,” Published by Gestalten, Berlin, Germany
“Pen to Paper,” Published by Pictoplasma, Berlin, Germany
de Young Museum
di Rosa Preserve
Diane and Sandy Besser Collection