Leonardo da Vinci wrote:
Two weaknesses leaning together create a strength. Therefore the half of the world leaning against the other half becomes firm.
Leonardo's Notebooks, edited by H. Anna Suh, pg 166
My artwork revolves around my conviction that religion and science are means to the same end. I use the word "religion" instead of "spirituality" intentionally. We are social beings; religions serve our spiritual needs from a social perspective. In my art, I look for what the highest purpose of science and religion is. I look at the two as parts of a whole.
God knows that both science and religion have led to untold tragedy upon us and the earth. Like their creators, they both have deep flaws. Yet, just like their creators, they contain unfathomable beauty, warmth and compassion.
I look at my body. What if my musculature and my skeletal system each had their own consciousness? They would see the world from polar extremes; the musculature would say that one has to be flexible, with the ability to tighten and loosen, change shape. The skeletal system would scoff and say that one has to be rigid, unyielding. What we know is that without either of these two systems locomotion would be impossible for us. We need these two elements. From a very narrow perspective these two elements are at odds with each other, but when you look at the human as a whole they serve their purposes and work together in concert beautifully.
I believe that religion (or in this case, spirituality, if you prefer) and art are closely related. Bill Viola said that museums are the modern world's houses of worship. I'm becoming less and less interested in art for art's sake. I like this idea of artwork serving a function. Just about all my favorite art is related to religion, from Michelangelo's first Pieta to Buddhist thangkas, to Bach's sacred music.
Last weekend my friend Jeremy Mage asked me if I wanted to present some of my video projection art at a church he's the choir master of. It's a beautiful old church on 86th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. It was a perfect fit; I've been thinking that my work does in fact belong in a church-type setting. As I wrote, there's a spiritual side in my work, and I see my work as an aid to meditation. So Jeremy, Priska and I went up to the church on Friday to play around with the projections to see what could work. Jeremy wrote a song that we played duo during the projection. It's called "Vessels." He's playing piano and I'm playing tenor saxophone.
I videotaped the presentation:
One of my goals as an artist is to give people a deep sense of peace when experiencing my art. So I was very happy to be a part of the service on Sunday.