ABOUT JUD

BIOGRAPHY

 

I was born in Eugene, Oregon, November 17, 1969, and raised by the 2 incredible parents, who allowed my younger brother Ryan and I a lot of freedom to explore our interests. We were given early access to tools, materials and a lot of unsupervised time. We built forts, roller coasters, skateboard ramps, moats, tunnels, etc. But with this freedom came high expectations – a premium was placed on education and creativity when I was growing up. I have always drawn, painted, sculpted – tried to make some sort of tangible record of my experiences and impressions of the world around me. I received training in drawing and painting at the University of Oregon, under Professor Ron Graff and the late Professor Frank Okada, both renowned artists and educators. In the early 1990’s, I transitioned to sculptural works as my main artistic output, focusing on direct welded steel work and found object assemblages.

 

Currently, I live and work in Eugene. My studio, The Oblivion Factory, is located in industrial west Eugene, Oregon. I live with several cats, rabbits, a mini-pig named Piggert (who goes to the studio with me every day). I spend as much time as possible at the studio welding, working, and laughing.

ARTIST STATEMENT

 

I am a sculptor. I am terrified and thrilled about this modern industrialized world we all share, I think too much, and I am obsessively drawn to visual experiences. I grew up on a diet of skateboarding, punk rock, progressive politics, poly-spirituality and a philosophy that “fun is all”. I learned early on to reinterpret the man-made industrial environments around me, and subvert them for my own fun and creative expression on my skateboard. Seeing the alternative possibilities in the manufactured world, and a lifelong love of drawing and art, easily merged into my current practice of “found object sculpture” and “mixed media assemblages” – I make my art out of materials that were not originally intended to be artistic mediums. Sometimes found, sometimes ancient fossils, sometimes multiples of cheaply mass-produced consumer flotsam – the materials I use allow an accessibility and universality of experience that draws viewers closer, and allows me to push into deeper layers of meaning and concept. I take old, cold, beat up steel objects and merge them with many other objects to create something new, that can appear soft, warm and life-like – the whole belying the origins of the many recycled ingredients.

 

My most successful work functions as both an immediate, pleasing visual experience, but also contains conceptual underpinnings and layers of meaning that pull in other directions, or contradict a viewer’s initial perceptions and reactions. I want a visually sensual surface, but also containing a powerful and potentially dangerous undertow. I don’t confine my artistic output to any particular style or genre, and have more ideas for sculptures than I will ever have time to make.

 

The themes addressed in my work are contemporary issues that many of us ponder: mortality, the intersection of nature and technology, the passing of time, spirituality, and environmental sustainability. I try to find new beauty in the relics of our over-productive, consumer system.

 

I have worked with found objects and welded steel for the past 25 years; my background and training was in drawing and painting. I enjoy the process of making sculpture — finding objects which are re-purposed, long hours working in the solitude of my studio, and especially the way that making art affects how I view the world around me.