Sponge Sculpture

I began this work with the idea of using paint as a sculptural material.   Pouring and soaking synthetic sponge with large quantities of acrylic paint enables the color to take on physical form by penetrating, inhabiting and animating 3-dimensional space.   Using blocks and sheets of either large pore or smooth sponge - I carve, stack, fold, cinch, button or weave the sponge together to create a basic form.  I pour all of the paint into the sponge at one time.  This particular group of sculptures contains between 10-45 gallons of paint each.
The pieces are stacked and assembled while they are soaking wet with paint - resulting in a condition of both chance and control.  The paint's combined forces of weight and volume profoundly affects and interacts with the sponge forms; causing unanticipated results such as bulging, sagging, dripping, and finally the emergence of multicolored pools of paint on the floor.    Once the paint is poured, I allow the materials to take their own course.  The sponges essentially become fleshy vessels that hold and leak vast quantities of color and evolve over the course of weeks, as the paint dries.  I am interested in the change occurring within the materials themselves, as they act on each other to create form that shifts between painting and sculpture, synthetic and natural.  The gesture of absorption generates an organic dynamic where the material substance and the content of the work are inseparable - an intensely physical narrative where each material reveals the nature of the other.  Soft and skinless, the paint-filled sponges express the action and psychology of a live body.