Ornamental Amalgamations: Artist’s Statement

 

 

When the Bauhaus banished traditional architectural ornament for being dishonest and extraneous, it freed architecture to search for beauty in a building’s function. But ornament was also now freed of architecture, and in its own way became a pure thing, uprooted from cornices and columns and cast away to plant itself somewhere else.

 

I imagine a Galapagos-like isle where all the forlorn ornamental motifs and patterns turn feral, and interbreed, and speciate. Where Baroque and Gothic motifs commingle and interbreed with Meso-American and Moorish.

 

There is architectural ornament that I truly love: it can shine and lift and exalt like great music. And there is ornament that is a colossal mistake: over-eager, clumsy, or buffoonish. It makes me laugh. And so I approach this content both with reverence and irreverence.

 

I love detail and pattern and complexity and I have a mind to try mastering anything I am inspired by: to understand something by creating it. Paper likes to be curved and folded, and it is agreeable to being bent into many of the ornamental motifs that I like. When folded into these forms, paper’s insistence on clean planes and crisp lines heightens the intensity of the ornamental designs, making them hyper-pure. They are like cartoon versions of ornament, still beautiful but a little unnerving.

 

 

 

 

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