Life seems to seek a balance in pairing. Most forms of life exhibit some level of symmetry. Pollen and simple organisms such as starfish share traits of radial symmetry. With more complexity as with vertebrates, a bi-lateral symmetry is prevalent. As observed from the front and back, our bodies are mirror-imaged left to right about the upright vertical spine.
Our faces exhibit this symmetry, though aesthetes debate the qualities that make for an attractive face. Some say perfect symmetry achieves perfect beauty, while others say a perfectly symmetrical face is a physiological symptom of a mental defect. Of my previous bodies of work that explored the concept of beauty, my Barbie O-ring series questioned body proportion, while my Fascia series focused on the idealized faces of allegorical sculptures. This Bi-lateral Cloud series pushes further in understanding what we see, what it seems to be, and ultimately, why we feel attraction or revulsion.
As children lying down in the grass on a summer day, we would look up at the clouds and see puppies, clowns, or giraffes. We debated about it until the cloud drifted and morphed into another form. It was sort of like watching the evolution of bizarre life forms playing across the sky. Or perhaps it was our first exposure to a psychological test of free association for our young minds.
For a two week period in the summer of 2013, weather conditions over Boston created large cumulus clouds that welled upwards into giant thunder storms, which then pummeled the area with hail, rain, and lighting. Just before sunset, the storms passed and out popped spectacular multiple rainbows, vibrant against the deep dark grey skies of the storm remnants moving on out over Boston Harbor. Social media was littered with cell-phone images of these rainbows.
I did not photograph the rainbows. Instead I was looking at the roiling turmoil of the cloud itself and wondered, ìWhat would happen if I Rorschach these photos?î Rather than puppies, clowns, or giraffes, I was seeing faces"very unsettling faces" I was seeing monsters.
Have I uncovered a pathology within myself? I guess it depends on my experiences but I do feel it is instinctually hardwired within me, as if I am programmed to recognize monsters that would cause me harm, versus the protection and security of a cuddly and fluffy Teddy Bear.
born: 1960, Bristol, Connecticut
University of Cincinnati, BArch, 1985
Hartford State Technical College, AS, 1980
Barbara Singer Artist Award, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2003
First Place Award, South Shore Art Center, Duxbury, Massachusetts, 1995
Third Place Award, Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, Massachusetts, 1994
Gallery Director's Choice Award, The Caged Angel Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts, 1992
Boston Globe review of MOVE! by Cate McQuaid, Boston, Massachusetts, 2010
reDIVIDer: Journal of New Literature and Art, Emerson College, Boston, MA, vol.6, issue 2, spring 2009
artsMEDIA, From Bellini to Barbie by Shawn Hill, Jan/Feb 2006
Art New England, Spotlight: Prize Patrol by Barbara O'Brien, p. 26-27, April/May 2003<p> </p>
selected solo or two-person exhibits
Jeffrey Heyne and Dorothea Van Camp New Works, 35 Channel Center Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts, 2013
Move!, NK Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts, 2012
MonomerDimerTrimerPolymer, Melle Finelli Studio Gallery, 2010
Barbie O-ring, Locco Ritoro Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts, 2006
selected group shows
Ravishing, 555 Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts, 2014
02127/02210, Spoke Gallery @ Medicine Wheel, Boston, Massachusetts, 2014
Repeat, Atlantic Wharf Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts, 2012
Iberoamerican Art Fair, Studio Soto, Caracas, Venezuela, 2007