JakeBeckman.com

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artist's statement from "embodied" exhibition

my work is influenced by the old industrial areas that comprise the backbone of the rust-belt landscape.  i am drawn to the corroded weather-beaten structures and fascinated by the layers of meaning visible in their decaying state.  the silent steel mills and idle manufacturing plants seem to embody an internal contradiction; they are simultaneously an enduring testament to human endeavor and a slow manifestation of nature's gradual embrace.  my work explores this interface between "progress" (especially western notions of growth and civilization), impermanence, and humanity's role in a larger ecological context.

in my work, i strive to generate a sense of interconnectedness and wonder through the imposition of familiar, yet fantastical, organic form into the inorganic context of the built environment.  flat walls seem swollen and heavy, distended by unseen pressures acting below their surface. other walls appear emaciated; their gaunt frames veiled by fleshless surfaces of paint and plaster that barely obscure the sub-structure beneath. my work reflects the visceral physicality of my subject matter by referencing the language of scientific specimens, anatomical dissections, and the form and structure of living organisms. at the same time, the works pay homage to the craft and technical processes that create and sustain constructed spaces by employing the same materials and techniques normally used in the fabrication of those spaces.  by combining a tradition of making and loosely adopting the lens of an amateur scientist in an urban setting, my work is an investigation of the connection human beings share with the objects and spaces they create.

statement from solo exhibition "embodied"
february 2009
the sculpture center, cleveland, ohio
 

review in Sculpture Magazine  :  review by steven litt  :  return to images