My art wasn't conjured up from thin air.  I think much and often about what I make and why I make it.  Above all, I love the sensy: the cold tingle of the mouth after gum chewing and the erotics of baking bread in a hot oven.  I have always admired artists who incorporate the sensy in their work in fresh and exciting ways.  I also value the macabre and the figure, as well as abstraction.  For those of you who have been anticipating this, here are my influences:

Lorna Adaugensen "The Feminine Gaze" (C-Print) 1988  (left)

This groundbreaking photograph captures the essence of the coy woman, the icy cool of her eyes and the cleft of her lip make me feel wet inside and tug on my heartstrings.  The red orange colors of the background vibrate like a rothko painting, but the figure ads interest because Rothko is kind of boring.  The silky sway of the hips is gorgeous and inspiring to me.  I aspire to capture females in thus a manner.

Joquine Havershad  "Jordanian Priest in Repose" (Stone) 1998 (right)

This intriguing sculpture by Havershad harkens back to the days of myth and the religious archtype.  The feminine priest bares his or her body to the world and engages in a careful balance on two limbs.  The omission of lower limbs adds tension to the work and questions the ability of the human to stand alone on his or her own two feet.  The human needs God and must bow, tale raised in admonition.  The strangely gendered complexion of the figure raises questions about the female as subject and dominatrix of the often male-dominated worlds of sculpture and priesthood.

 Eric Haughen "Empowered (After Cindy Sherman)" (C-Print) 2009 (left)

This edgy photograph of a woman and her dog references the rich history of female as advertistment and the female form as subject matter in artwork, especially drawing from Cindy Sherman's award winning series of self portraits.  Interestingly, the artist in this case is a male who cross-dresses and enjoys furry fetishes (something I am rather fond of myself).  Photographer as animal, as woman, as furry, and as subject of the male gaze are new territories for contemporary images.  The bright pink of this photograph references consumer culture and the sexualization of transvestites in american advertising.

Sue Daurrrendiene "Aloof Swine" Encaustic on Canvas (1901)

I enjoy the plastic texture of this painting very much.  The pig is an orwellian allegory to elitist society, particularly doctors and their dominance over patients (in this case pig minions).  The dominant pig's flesh buckles in excess and is coated in snot and thus the messy texture of encaustic speaks volumes.  The large scale of this painting has also inspired me to work realistically on a massive level.   I love the macabre and the sensy.

Naomi Laudendale-Smirthen "Arrangement for the Blithe"
(Installation on hollywood red-carpet at 1991 Oscars) 1991

This work is perhaps one of the most sophisticated i have ever encountered.  The sentimental elements of bells and candy swirls juxtaposed with the celebrity-content laden red-carpet is provocative.  I enjoy the sensiness of the green glitter party hat and the joy in the figure's eyes--it seems to be genuine and endearing.  This work makes me feel happy and that is an achievement on a very high level.  I had the pleasure of meeting this artist on a 1995 trip to the middle east.  She wore a burka and conversed with me about the necessity of integrating the happy into the sex-starved world of hollywood and celebrity culture.  What a wonderful integration of both form and content.

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