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furniture interiors
comissioned works
bruce chapin

artist statement

     As my brother once said as a child, “It wonders me.” I find the universe a strange and marvelous place.  What it is, exactly, I have no idea. I am still trying to figure it out.  For me, it is all a mystery.   Did you ever get the feeling maybe somebody is messing with us.  The workings of the known universe, on one hand make complete sense to me and simultaneously seem completely absurd. God, or some other force, has seen fit to condemn me to a Sisyphisian existence.  Perhaps enjoying the idea of taunting me, knowing I will find nothing, reveal nothing, and accomplish nothing.  No truths, no lies, just wasted time.  Picasso said, “I don’t seek, I find.”  For me, “I seek and.....I  seek.....”    I tend to play around with ideas that by their very nature have no answers.  Or if there are answers they tend to be leaps of faith answers.  Basically I am a frustrated philosopher, who doesn’t have the command of words or logic to talk and think like a philosopher, so images and ideas help me to work through my metaphoric searches and subconscious misgivings.

     I like to think my work has a spiritual element. I suppose every artist who creates anything can lay claim to this. I guess I would like to think the spiritual qualities come through when the viewer thinks about the pieces.  Deeper meanings, I suppose.  Below or beyond the surface.  Sometimes it is heavenly and sometimes it is disturbing.  So very simple? or so very complex?  Some would say the answers you seek are within. For me it just doesn’t add up.

     The work I have been doing has been involved in a number of directions.  Large pieces that explore ideas about god and the spiritual ideas controlling us.  Or is it us controlling spiritual ideas.  Smaller pieces, cabinets, and sculptural furniture, incorporating similar ideas.  Then there are the heads.  All three directions have been using the human figure as a central theme.  While the figure is generally a simplified representation, I hope it takes on deeper meanings in context with the ideas it contains.  In some cases there are implied narratives, but in most cases the images are made up of meaningless/ meaningful connections.  As I am playing around with ideas, I look for ones that have these connections I do not understand.  Those are the ideas that have the most interest and mystery for me.   If I find I know what the piece or idea is about, it is less likely to engage me in conversation, and, I believe, is less likely to engage the viewer in a lasting conversation.

     Wood.......I guess I like wood.  It has so many possibilities and potentialities: Surfaces, finishes, constructions, carvings, assemblages.  While I am always on the lookout for different materials and techniques to use and incorporate into my work, it seems I always come back to wood. I can make furniture with it.  Sculpture.  Sculptural furniture.  I have been working with it since I was a small boy.  Building and carving things down in the basement.  You know its funny.  I just realized I have spent probably about 20 years of my life creating things in basement spaces.
I wonder if that has affected what I do?  or how I view the world?   Dark, dirty, damp?   Mysterious?  



artist statement is in preparation








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