Location: Long Island City, Queens
Highest Level of Education: Master of Fine Arts
Ability Level: Professional
Type of Sewing: Drawing
Occupation: Fine Artist
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I draw with an industrial zigzag sewing machine and thread, starting with patterns and imagery I find on commercially available printed fabric, to realize complex narratives. Process is the transformative agent, synthesizing and subverting the forms and stories contained in the original sources. For the last five years I have also written dialogue and commentary for my drawings and books, first cutting out words and letters from printed fabric, then using a computerized embroidery machine and CAD software to produce embroidered text. My drawings tell me what to say. I buy fabrics and trim in fabric stores in New York City and wherever else I happen to be.
People who know my work offer fabric, buttons, needlework, and trim, occasionally from dead relatives. I almost always welcome it. Sometimes I incorporate leftovers from my years as a sculptor and maker of works on paper, including fabric silk-screened with images of my old line drawings and paint-smeared work pants from the early 90s. Having used all kinds of power tools as a sculptor, I much prefer drawing with an industrial sewing machine to hand-sewing. My eyes in close-up glasses, my face six inches from the moving needle, I have an intuitive bond with the machine. At the start, I have no idea what a drawing will look like. But ideas just get in the way. The key is to give myself over to the process. That said, I am after as complex a truth as possible. My drawings reflect the world in all its glory, horror and absurdity, its workers and slugs, sleepwalkers and prophets. Who is in charge and who suffers because of that? Why does the past keep biting us in the ass? What does it mean to be in love? I do my best to make sense of things, and it takes everything I’ve got.