Wooden Sculptures of Fish and Mobiles


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About ArtFormFunction

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On Etsy since 2018

Artist Statement
My work has always been about contrast and translating. The contrast of the natural and the artificial and translating my emotional response into an object that embodies that emotion in its geometry, the alchemy of ideas transforming humble materials into something that communicates what words cannot.

As a child my grandmother —she was an art director— encouraged me to make art. I spent hundreds of hours in her studio making drawings, paintings, and sculptures. Her mother, Else Bostelman, was an illustrator for National Geographic, who assisted the deep-sea explorer William Beebe doing illustrations of deep sea fish. Her paintings were all over my grandmother’s apartment. Although I had little interaction with my great-grandmother, being surrounded by her fish paintings strongly influenced me. 
Most of my childhood I lived in Puerto Rico, a block from the ocean. Spending half my time in the water, sailing and snorkeling instilled me with a lifelong interest in the world of the sea.
At Rhode Island School of Design I took classes in nearly every discipline, from furniture making to bronze casting, finally ending up in the sculpture department where I learned woodworking, welding, and working with cement and clay.  Every material and technique seemed to have a different vocabulary and a different way to tell a story.
After art school I started a kite manufacturing business with a friend, sewing fabric kites in the shape of animals, mostly sea creatures. I also started making sculptures out of recycled materials like cardboard, paper and wood, many of fish and fish-like shapes.
While looking for a new job, I was introduced to a friend of a friend doing computer graphics, and after a few months of looking over his shoulder and practicing when he was done working, I ended up doing freelance computer illustration work and became adept at taking designers’ sketches and refining them into finished works. Cultivating these skills and learning to be precise would later help me develop the artwork I am currently doing.
My mother and I were both born in Denmark, and I was strongly influenced by Scandinavian design, from my mother’s side of the family and also by my art director grandmother collecting a lot of iconic midcentury furniture. The midcentury aesthetic view of the natural world rendered through a geometric/technological lens remains a strong influence on my work.

The Work
The act of seeing translates the world into a new format, colored by the capabilities of our eyes and brains, and my fish sculptures are a similar translation. When I am designing the sculptures I refine the image of a fish into a series of flat planes of patterns that capture the emotional essence.
The fish sculptures I am doing now are a new direction for me, in that they are less abstract than some I have done in the past, and the first to embrace the use of pattern and regular geometry. The game of teasing something as organic as fish out of geometric patterns has been a fascinating journey, one I hope viewers will enjoy taking with me.

The Materials
This series of fish are made of laminated woods, with spring steel for the joints. The spring steel creates a flexible but sturdy joint that allows the sculptures to be flattened for storage or shipping. The wood is given a thin coating of UV resistant clear coat, which protects against moisture and damage from sunlight.

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