What is autobiographical art?
- Artwork that expresses something about my life.
- Artwork that relates to my personal concept of self and my place in society.
- Artwork that shares my life.
- Artwork that considers the underlying unconscious meaning of an artwork.
I started creating autobiographical work as an undergraduate student. It was quite a transition from photographing downtown Chicago ally spaces, grain silos and rural post offices using a 4” by 5” view camera.
My first piece was a mobile made of photographs of friends and my naked body that were mounted on foam board pieces 18” tall and 40” wide. There were six of these panels attached by fishing line so that as they hung in the gallery space they slowly spun mixing body parts.
My next piece dealt with the loss of a girlfriend who died of cancer at the age of 23, I was 22. The script I read was memories that I have from our time together. Years later, while in grad school I dug graves for the church I belonged to. I dug the graves by hand. I photographed myself digging a grave and used these photographs to create a video for the text.
My most recent video installation involved five HDTVs mounted on free standing panels that were arranged into an pentagon, with the TVs facing inward. This created a confined, noisy space. The videos were shot by mounting a camera behind my seat on the C-130. The audio from the aircraft was fed into the camera. The video was created during combat missions while deployed to Afghanistan.
I’m conceptualizing the details for my next video. I’m going to share what it’s like to live with depression and anxiety as the result of multiple deployments over the last 15 years. My desire is to be subtle. Hopefully the viewer will walk away from the piece feeling as though they just got hit over the head with a hammer.
I want to create work that veterans can relate to, in addition to attracting a wider demographic that the work resonate with.