Why do we have such confidence in our perceptions when we are so easily misled? This question constantly guides my creative process, across time and diverse media. While I’ve embraced glass, oils, acrylics, drawing, and collage, my most recent work is a series of dioramas constructed of museum board, rendered in pen and ink, depicting some of the 20 studios I’ve worked in over the years. The series employs the Renaissance trope of forced perspective and other optical tricks—with an occasional foray into outright illusion—to explore perception and how it works.
In the past, I created elaborate three-dimensional wood constructions, which were finished to a high degree. With the current series, my hope is to preserve the freshness and light touch of the original sketch, which was often lost in the wood constructions. For this work, I cut up my original drawings and use the fragments to build the finished work. I want the drawing to count.
I’ve been asked, repeatedly, if I’m a set-designer. I’m not. But the question is apt, as the unique structure of each of my pieces, along with its particular poetry, function together like a theater and a play: I design and build the set to carry the narrative of each piece.
My aim with all of this is to spark the delight we take in knowing something is impossible, but believing in it regardless.