The things I make have always been about work and nonwork. I’m particularly drawn to the cheap, easily accessible ways to bring joy into a person’s life. I’m not just talking about the impulse buying of chips or booze to elevate one’s serotine levels after a long week of work. I look at things that effect a person’s environment. I think about the off hours put in to find a mass-produced relic that one can call their own.
For me, the snowman is obviously an icon of impermanence. It’s an icon of material precarity when it comes to the subject of art. When it comes to life, it’s then I think of the impermanence of self. Or more acutely, the elusive quality of the things that re-affirm our sense of self. Whether it’s the home, our possessions, our job, or our friends. All things fleeting. I think about this when I’m sitting on my parent’s deck. Furnished with steel patio furniture, decorative led lights, and stones from their time spent in Forester, MI. Watching them smoke after another ten hours of work, I remember how close they came to foreclosure in 2008. I wonder what kind of presence the wood, steel, and stone would carry if it was no longer in their possession. Sometimes the evasive quality of these scenes is quick. Often times it’s so slow I’m unable to quantify it. When I’m lucky, there’s revelatory moments of bliss within the sadness of potentially losing everything someone worked for. This might have something to do with all the “emptiness” talk I’ve heard about in the dozens of Buddhist lectures and books I’ve consumed, but I can’t say for sure.
- David Flaugher, September 2020