I call myself “Artist” for want of a better term. There is nothing self-evident in my creative work except the compulsion to do it. Through no intention of my own, I have been pointed out as something apart, a five legged calf, a monster. I have never fought for that position, nor do I do so now to keep it. Yet I may as well at times have felt the winds of megalomania sweep across my brow. But I believe myself to be immune. I need only for one second remind myself of the utter unimportance of art in the human world in order to cool myself down again. But that does not mean the compulsion does not remain. -VARTIMMEN
is to define the openness to consider anything; to listen and ignore everything; to know that there are no firm rules and if I find any to break them; to create a little spark hoping people will fuel it, moving it further along.
I AM INSPIRED BY
the process itself, which includes the fear, the courage, the self-doubt, the bravado it takes to produce something and share it.
MY WORK ASSIMILATES
found objects; text; iron; bronze; copper; construction; rusting; sanding; assemblage; staining; scratching with my fingernails; layers upon layers of acrylics; carving with screwdrivers and woodworkers’ tools; my opinions, judgments, beliefs and emotions; and applying a riot of color with an athletic force in order to obtain a crude urban texture.
BEING AN ARTIST
is a vague thing to declare; not in doing...but in telling; it's much less complicated being a plumber, an engineer or doctor. When you say “I’m a plumber”, everyone knows what you do; same with a doctor or engineer; most know why you do it and can probably accurately guess how much money you make doing it. When you announce, “I’m an Artist”, peoples minds tend to go mad and you can see all these questions building up and spreading out to the ends of their hair. Still, everyday I proclaim, “I'm an Artist.”
Just as paintings of pretty flowers, unicorns and lighthouses make us smile or feel content, emotionally charged intense works that cause discomfort or inspire people to challenge themselves, forces us to recognize art is more interesting when it provokes, annoys or entertains rather than when it just looks beautiful.