I began my early work in printmaking and drawing with Guido Strazza in Rome when he was working with “il Gesto e il Segno” at the National Etching Institute. That research centered on the relationship between a graphic mark and the gesture that causes it. We also explored the relationship between the historical analysis of etchings and engravings and a reformulation of the marks they are made up of as non-traditional images. In other words, we investigated what these graphic marks were (in and of themselves) before they become an image of something else. What I ended up drawing were abstract images of gestural and geometric marks. That was my primary interest when I first started drawing.
I came back to the US in the late 80’s and after acclimating to the change, I gave up on that kind of non-objective abstraction. The images I was looking at (and most interested in) were midway between representation and gesture. I also felt that non-objective abstraction had run its course for me, as an artist. The mark-making history into which I was embedded in Europe, with the Informale, Tachisme and Automatic Writing work had been little correspondent history in the States. Besides, I found myself captivated by an entirely new set of images, objects and surroundings which changed the way I was drawing.
The first set of images I worked with came from studying cactus, the next came from the new and strange suburban architecture I found myself immersed in and so on and so forth, to date. I am an American, but I spent most of my adolescence and young adulthood in Europe. In my drawing, I continue to explore the relationship of mark making and image coagulation (il segno e il gesto) by posing the question of image translation as central to my graphic work. That allows me to conjure up representational fragments in the work without losing the specific graphic value that marks have for me. My work is now referential and I often utilize collaged and/or recognizable images.
Artist Bio / CV
I work as an artist in sculpture (studio and public art), installation and drawing. In my ongoing work as an artist and sculptor, I create new and site specific artwork for gallery/project exhibitions.
In terms of public art commissions, I completed public art features at the Mar Vista Branch and Westwood Branch Libraries and at Sepulveda Park West in Los Angeles, as well as being selected to be the artist responsible for the art at the L.A. Riverfront Park, the Lorcan O’Herlihy Habitat 825 building and at the MTA Central Valley Balboa Station.
I have degrees in studio art (MFA) from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, with an emphasis in 3D work and degrees (AA.BB.) from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma, Rome, (Magistero) the Istituto Statale D’Arte di Urbino, Urbino and (Master Printer) the Calcografia Nazionale (National Etching Institute), Rome Italy for drawing and printmaking. I have taught sculpture, printmaking and theory at USC, ArtCenter, UCI and in the Cal State system. I coordinated the Graduate Studio area at CSUN for 6 years.
Aside from my own work as an artist and educator, I have been involved in curating, art writing and art event organizing. I have written about the arts consistently since 1984. The writing I do ranges from short descriptive reviews of exhibitions and artists to longer research essays which explore different topics germane to this moment in contemporary art history. I have been art event organizing consistently since 1989. These tasks range from curating exhibitions at a local and international level, to being on the exhibition committee for various non for profit organizations, to directing long term project spaces that create venues for new and experimental art forms. I consider these activities to be part of my overall participation in the arts and view this task as both disseminating and clarifying ideas and concepts embedded in the contemporary arts.