Self Portrait Series:
The emphasis upon resemblance in the typical self-portrait tends to isolate it from larger issues—such as the nature of the self in general, its relationship to the temporal, the role of ideals and of one’s attempts to realize those ideals, the relationship of the personal and material to the scientific and mathematical. I have attempted to redefine the self-portrait, using symbolism and obvious departures from realism in order to include what is typically excluded and so fuse the two antithetical spheres of the specific and the general into one distinctive and unique whole. The best summation of this approach is perhaps afforded by the Argentine writer Borges, who attributed the origin of one of his creations to the mirror and the encyclopedia. He meant, I think, that he was inspired both by specific personal experiences suggested by the mirror, and by the universal externalities and generalities suggested by the encyclopedia.
Self Portrait IV: Paleoanthropic Fragments is a simulation of fragments excavated from an anthropological dig, but not obviously such as one would find in nature.
Human scale in the Gallery series is indicated by the small isolated figure in the right corner of Galleries I and III, and by the small skeletal running figure in Gallery IV.
The term Mutilé is derived from Graham Greene’s novel, A Burnt-Out Case. It refers to a leper in the final stages of the disease. For me as for Greene it has significance far exceeding the physiological.
Kouros is the Greek term for “male youth.” It refers to one of the many surviving ancient statues of youths whose precise purpose is unknown.
Parthenogenesis strictly means asexual development from an unfertilized egg. I interpret it metaphorically as self-fertilization. My image was also suggested by the behavior of certain wasps that lay their eggs in the bodies of living caterpillars. The developing larvae feed upon the fluids of their still living host. The host eventually starves to death, but not before the wasp larvae mature and fly away to repeat the cycle. In these sculptures the predator is not an external agent, but is generated by and issues from the prey.
In the play by Euripides Hippolytus is dragged to death by his chariot horses. I have deliberately omitted horses and chariot to distinguish my meaning from Euripides.’
Sailing to Byzantium refers to a poem of the same name by William Butler Yeats
The Canonization refers to a poem of the same name by John Donne.
The title of Sibyl derives from the epigraph of T.S. Eliot’s Waste Land.
The title of De Profundis refers to Psalm 130, one of the penitential psalms.