This series came about as a study of of nature and it’s changes throughout the seasonal cycle, and blossomed into associations with folk tales, metaphysics and holistic medicine. Through the two-dozen stencil cuts shown here, I discovered that I can work with the single photographs that I’d started with and manipulate the image to give it a compound structure – a snake within an apple – alluding to Eve in the Garden, but also to the poison apple in Snow White. Collage should have occurred to me as an obvious tool much earlier, as it’s something that I’ve worked with for decades, but being ruled by Saturn, I’m sometimes slow on the pickup.

Rounding out personal storytelling with the stuff of folk tales.

Now that I’ve uncovered this long forgotten technique in my toolbox, I’ve got many fresh ideas to explore in the coming year. In particular, I’m thinking about contemporary takes on fairy tales, both cautionary and transformative. Art making is a continual metamorphosis. In my mind, I sometimes imagine that an internalized seasonal cycle is occurring within me – wherein a luminous moth emerges during the warm seasons in pursuit of light and becomes cocooned inside a layer of spider silk, to be devoured by it’s dialectic opposite during the cold season. Both players are necessary for the full story arc of my imaginings to manifest.

burroughs copy

An early collaged portrait of one of my favorite Beat PoetsWilliam Burroughs.

There is a local artist in Minneapolis, Alex Kuno, who is a master of visual storytelling, specifically as applied to the dark fairy tale genre. His imagery reminds me of old world tales like Shockheaded Peter on hallucinogens, with layers and layers of visual texture. Despite a persistent denial of the existence of fairies and elves (exceptions like the Irish and Icelandic notwithstanding) in our world today, we need these stories to lend subtlety to a culture that has been relieved of it’s depth so as to fit on an LCD screen. I recently read that among many tribal peoples, the village storyteller is the most highly regarded member of society. With that in mind, I’m looking forward to spinning tall tales for the benefit of anyone who’ll listen.

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