© Despair and Anger, 2018, Steel, Bronze, Light, Audio, 120 x 144 inches, Collection of the Artist, Pittsburgh, PA
Both literal and conceptual, this raw and intense 50-second multi-sensory journey through light, sound, and the spoken word invites the viewer to experience two very distinct emotions. As human beings we have the innate capacity to feel more than one emotion at a time. DESPAIR AND ANGER is the object, the subject and the consequence of engaging with this visceral installation. Entering a darkened space, one is confronted and conflicted by images and narrative. One is powerless to intervene or to alter what is happening. The powerful narrative emphasizes the uncomfortable reality that, all too often, many circumstances are not within our control.
“DESPAIR AND ANGER was inspired by a news report about a man whose wife had just died. His son, who was serving in the war, prepared to immediately return home for the burial but was tragically killed overseas. The inconceivable outcome: the man had to bury his wife and son on the same day. After reading the article, I was both angered and saddened and, within an hour, had sculpted a singular face reflecting the raw emotions capturing that anger and despair. The angry upward slant of one side of the face was juxtaposed against the downward, mournful slant of despair on the other side. I thought of war and its often tragic consequences. And I thought of my children, particularly my daughter. She was terrified of lightning and thunder as a child, even when I tried my best to comfort her. All of these disparate thoughts and reactions converged in DESPAIR AND ANGER. The voice and face of the father change in a blink of an eye. War and its unforeseen consequences have yielded circumstances beyond his control. Where there was once comfort, there is now only DESPAIR AND ANGER.”