Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Journey: An Artist Statement

Inner tubes, rubber bands and staples.
36" x 80"

Bicycle inner tubes to me represent travel. I have bicycled thousands of miles all over the United States, it's a big part of who I am.

The making of art is also journey. Just like a bike ride, there are short term and long term goals. The journey consists of areas to go through, challenges to overcome and parts just to enjoy.

Bicycling has a real yin and yang to it. When I'm sitting on my couch reminiscing about past travels, I remember the fun and the accomplishment. The bad and ugly days are tucked away in a corner, badges of honor to talk about with cycling friends who understand. I could have made a cloth full of happy colorful wavy lines to indicate the happy ease of bicycling, but that is not the case.

The overall circle pattern that runs through the work symbolizes the rhythmic circular pedal stroke, a constant and ever present part of cycling. When riding alone the rhythm of cycling brings out altered mind states. Pedaling is a kind of therapy that gets rid of the noise in your head after a week of work; you can figure out problems or just free associate ideas to ponder; kind of like puttering for the mind.

In my work I have shown the other aspects of cycling through patterning.

For every glorious downhill, the wind rushing past, the feeling of flying as you swoop though the corners, there is a big hill that is climbed one difficult pedal stroke at a time.

For every tremendous tailwind that propels you effortlessly down the road, there is a headwind that you fight for hours at a time.

For every vista of beautiful scenery, there is landscape devoid of anything interesting and one must look for beauty in tiny treats; small flowers in the roadside ditch, bugs marching across the asphalt, and the thought of a cold beverage at the end of the day.

For every mile of riding where everything clicks and all is right with your world, there are miles where your body just plain hurts and the brain refuses to function.

These are all a part of cycling, life, and art, but at the end of the day there is always the sense of accomplishment, becoming stronger over time and getting ready for the next journey.

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