Fascination with the discarded, forgotten, cast away, lost and insignificant flotsam and jetsam of life began in early childhood. The yard was filled with the fascinating objects of my father's commercial fisherman life, and my mother's fascination with arts and crafts. I played with fish nets, lobster traps, massive ship anchors, boats, glass ball floats, shells, tar barrels, hemp ropes, and swordfish bills from my father’s gathering and storage, and string, yarn, buttons, mosaic tiles, brushes, crochet hooks, catalogs, dishware, pruned branches, discarded clothing and shoes from my mother. I constructed playhouses and rickety forts utilizing pieces gleaned from the garden and empty lots. All the fishing supplies, gear, leavings, gatherings and junk in the yard, stacked and sometimes overgrown with weeds, were available and ready for my imagination without reservation. I gleaned from neighbor’s garbage cans, street sides, construction sites. The more unidentifiable the piece, the more possibilities it offered. I continued to collect during my painting career. However small (a string of plastic pearls, a scrap of candy wrapper, my eventually useless wedding band) or large (grocery cart found by the side of a residential street, a shiny new box mattress innerspring leaning against a San Francisco North Beach apartment building, pieces of an old shed), I knew all the pieces had one common relationship: it had all been precious and of worthiness at one time.
Our lives consist of one common thread: time. The majority of us trade our most precious commodity – time- for money. We take this money and buy things. Sometimes the basic needs in life, as food, shelter, clothes, and care, but also many things. The more we are paid for our time, the more things we purchase. Eventually the things are discarded. Suitcases, fur coats, fake jewelry, books, wedding dresses, stuffed animals, wigs, house ware items, suitcases, cars, furniture, whatever. Look at the plethora of second-hand shops, charity stores, and e-Bay activity. We are throwing our time - our lives- away in return for things we eventually discard. Essentially, and without much forethought, we discard our lives.
The first time I saw Edward Keinholz’s Back Seat Dodge – ’38 in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art I was fascinated. It was uncomfortably sexual imagery, yet familiar in my personal life. The audacity of using discarded products to present a story was so close to my own life story to be ignored. This courageous piece planted the seed of my interest in assemblage sculptures. Keinholz gave me the opportunity to not only save and collect, but to revive the discarded and redundant, and recycle it into my own personal and universal epiphanies. I am an observer of life. I observe human relationships and the roles humans play through history and now. I use discarded and considered useless objects to tell a story, to reveal social expectations and actions all too often taken for granted. I use discarded objects to tell stories, to reveal what may be taken for granted or hidden from view, as epiphanies. Moments of truth gleaned from my observations and my life.