“What is your work about?” That is what you get asked in the art world. I, personally, have been asked this many times. Lately, I am also asked why I chose a project having to do with the Red Light District here in Amsterdam. This is an easier question to answer.
The simplest answer is that the residency was set up with the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam. The guidelines for the proposal stated that the work to be completed must have some need to be completed in Amsterdam and that it have some social foundation. In light of Project 1012, passed here in 2000 legalizing prostitution, I thought it would be interesting to explore this law through my work.
Now, a more difficult thing to do is to answer the question “What is your work about?
My work as an artist has everything to do with who I am and the form that I live in, this body. My artist statement says the following:
Through painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, performance and writing I seek to understand not only my own experience, but also more importantly, how society perceives and understands its human form. My work mediates our intimate interaction with our bodies. It contains objects that stand in for, document, or otherwise define the body within our culture.
I am very critical of my body. I seek to take care of it and make it better. I am fascinated with how it changes, how it succumbs to various blemishes and wounds, how it changes in its physical condition depending upon my effort, and how it looks with its ever-increasing lines and folds.
I am body, form, energy, matter, and flesh. Someday, I will leave this body. I will leave it to the care of others to execute my wishes to burn it, to turn it into ashes and to bury it in the sand. Until then, I am.
Nobody ever makes work in a vacuum. I know that I myself am constantly motivated by those who have gone before me and those who continue to produce work in the name of art.
There are two artists whom I admire very much who have dealt with the subject of artists and prostitution. Marina Abramovic and Andrea Fraser are two of the best in the business. Check them out.
Marina Abramovic, Role Exchange
Andrea Fraser, Untitled