Measured disregard of rational thought during the making process allows me to observe the world we truly inhabit. Crude human senses and archaic neurobiological systems have been built upon over and over by evolution, like a shanty town. Through art, I embrace the futility of thought as a part of life's beauty.
I explore the thin line separating attraction and revulsion, safety and danger, embracing and smothering. Uncanny juxtapositions let us reflect on our collective symbolic framework. If a work is visually enticing, it may also be somatically repellent. A pallet of compositional elements and materials are nested, connected, and layered with one another in order to emphasize, vibrate, and harmonize. Much of my art attempts to evoke a primal, automatic response in the viewer, from curiosity to disgust to tactile desire. My proudest moments are when this visibly succeeds in practice, almost like a key fitting into a lock.
New bodies of work usually begin with a distinct, but nonspecific, urge. I tend to make work in series, or at least within a theme, as a way to analyze different aspects of the concept that have manifested along the way. My interests, materials, and practices are diverse; self-study over time enables me to recognize and cultivate the origins and potentials of my creative drive. By collecting objects, researching and testing methods, sketching, modeling, or ruminating, I pursue this impulse to create. Reacting to prototypes is a very important part of my process, and each piece unfolds differently through time spent making. Technical parameters prevail; impasses force improvisation. Solutions giving a voice to obscured facets of my mind spur growth and refinement.
Sebastian Shepherd, January 2018