A Long Road
Tryptich, each panel 12 x 12 inches. Rusted steel panels, granite, marble, smalti, lead type slugs, coated wire, tinted thinset.
artist's statement: I have long been a typography geek. Ever since I began to work in the mosaic medium, I’ve wanted to incorporate typography into my work. Toward this end, I began collecting 1950s era lead type, including forty Chinese type slugs, twenty of which I used in this artwork. However, since misappropriated “foreign” languages on t-shirts, hats, and tattoos has become a global phenomenon, I didn’t want to incorporate logograms with meanings unknown to me. So I stamped each type slug onto paper (see below), and obtained a translation from a friend. The process revealed characters with meanings that could be considered evil, unpleasant, or criminal, so I eliminated them from inclusion in the artwork. This first stage of selection did not sufficiently reduce my pool of candidates, so for the second round of selection, I chose characters whose shape and form were pleasing to me. I realized in hindsight that my background check and selection criteria were discriminatory and subjective. Nevertheless, I couldn’t incorporate all the type slugs, so I put the twenty rejects back into the box. Their fate is uncertain.