This series of early metal work, Tied (2001-2005), was realized during a critical time in my artistic development. By exploring stylized depictions of the human figure cast in aluminum, I sought to understand how our understanding of the body as a whole is different from our appreciation for various body parts.
In the works, each imagined segment (arms, knees, feet) was wrapped with string, visually connecting the esthetic isolation of body parts to metaphors for the physical subjugation of people and animals. The sculptures were then sand cast as solid wholes, with the same metal representing both string and the bodily extremities. The works allude to comparisons between the violence of slavery and bondage, and the dismemberment of meat in industrial processing facilities.
The objects portray fixity, the state of being immobilized, with roughly hewn, pulsating muscles forever trapped not only in cast metal, but in cast metal strings on the surface of that metal. Each member is presented as a “roast,” ready for consumption. Because the subject matter remains surreal and without a context, it portrays struggle in a generalized way, rather than critiquing any one particular historical event.