I have worked as a Senior Art Director for multinational companies including NBC and Anheuser Busch creating and producing multi-media presentations and campaigns for which I have won several awards including a regional Emmy. My other design work has included: exhibition catalogues for projects in both the US and Italy; production layout boards and set design for theater, short films, and commercial projects; and parade event art direction.
I now live full-time in Florence, Italy where I am an adjunct professor. I teach in different universities around the city including classes in drawing, photography, computer graphics, and graphic illustration. I continue to consult with companies including 20th Century Fox, Los Angeles-based post-production houses, an Irish hospitality firm, and a Seattle-based dried goods company.
Presently, my ongoing personal art practice includes rescuing discarded things—ranging from bottle tops to store window mannequins to old scrap metal—and assembling these objects to create sculptural installations. I capture both the process and product using high-resolution digital photography and add a layer of digital manipulation to further remove the objects from their original contexts. The resulting photographs capture one instant of the inherently transitional nature of these found items. Drawing from my experience as a corporate Senior Art Director, my work attempts to explore the relationship between commercial images and more traditional fine art while posing serious questions about the ephemeral nature of our culture.
Building on my artistic practice, my course of study would focus on researching the influence of materials and technology on art; particularly its influence on the American Pop movement. I would look to the work of seminal East Coast artists Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenestein and Robert Rauschenberg paying particular attention to the concept of “over-looked”, “low brow”, or discarded materials as subject matter. Simultaneously, I would look at the West Coast Pop Movement—particularly, Ed Kienholz and Craig Kauffman–in which artists began salvaging materials and techniques that had previously been outside the high art canon. To take advantage of my current location, I will also look briefly at how this American movement influenced the Italian pop movement as embodied in the work of Mimmo Rotella and Enrico Baj and the “Scuola di Piazza del Popolo”.
To develop this course of study, I will use a variety of sources including the Getty Research Institute library in Los Angeles, CA, the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze, museum research in Florence and Los Angeles, and interviews with practicing artists. I will develop concepts and create art work that supports and demonstrates the aesthetic value and social relevance of “ the over looked.” I will use current and developing media to update and explore the concept of discards and their acquisition and availability as medium. My ultimate goal will be to create an exhibition-ready portfolio of pieces. In addition to the body of work, I would also like to create a series of educational reference papers that I would be able to use in the future to develop courses that recreate my journey and discoveries.