Artist Statement


    Our civilization is blasted, bombarded and blighted with imagery - magazine pages, along road sides, on TV, and now computer screens. Meaningful and meaningless spew forth into the same soup. A failure to decipher highway directives can result in violent collisions and death or just plain being lost without a sense of direction.

The messages are clear, measured, directive and precise in the mind of the sender, usually in the form of commercial advertising. It's the perceiver, the ordinary person, who has the problem. Those competitive messages become confusion. Communication becomes a matter of chance. Knowing is arbitrary.

For my art, I follow the pattern of my culture. I do use the usual art media - clay, paint or plaster but I include ordinary found objects - both man-made and natural. Real is better than representational. My subject becomes arbitrary. Picasso said, "I don't seek. I find." Objects are selected impulsively - what appeals to me 3,t the time. I use what I find. Walt, my country friend, tells me repeatedly, "Stuff happens."

My domain for organization and presentation is a horse of a different color. It is deliberate and more thought out. It is an agony ofthought, with decision making and personal challenge. Would the work be better if I attached the plumbing fixture to the ceramic arm or if I turned the whole thing inside out. The purpose is to bring everything together with a single voice. I look for connections, balance, movement, contradictions and repetitions. I follow Jasper John' s tenet, "You take something and add it to something, then do something else." It is the structural configuration that provides the work with a web for personal interpretation.

Meaning cannot be prescribed. For me, I often discover personal meaning before I create and while I create, but more often after I create. This works. It leads toward the journey of my next work. As always, my next work will be my best work.


Jim Rettinger