365 Dumb Days (2010-2019)
365 Dumb Days

I recreate daily moments of crisis in the format of a three-dimensional diary. The title for each sculpture begins with a date and follows with a reference to the form and content of the sculpture. For example, June 26 (Boom Box and Beaver), describes the components of the sculpture while also alluding to the beastliness and sweetness of adolescent sexuality. Other sculptures explore subjects that include loss of innocence, sexual sublimation and the media, viral contagion: design or chance, spiritual isolation and the absence of desire, and the relationship between physical aging and the obsolesce of objects, as well as references to contemporary events such as the collapse of the World Trade Center towers.

Using recycled objects, and real and constructed memories, I selectively reveal aspects of my personal history as I expose the underlying passion-filled dreams, persistent anxieties, and dark desires of humanity. An integral component of this work is the acrylic medium Tar Gel that has both sculptural and painting applications. Mixed with paint, it renders a full-bodied flexible high gloss surface perfect for creating “skins” that resemble, for example, lava or melting plastic. Tar Gel creates a sense of flux that bridges the gap between process and object—a gloriously seductive movement that spills across canvas or paper, and envelops whatever lies in its path. In other words, I want my sculptures to express the relentlessly patient movement of time coupled with the possibility of cataclysm.

Another important component of this work is the selection of objects that are the foundation of each sculpture. Each object is from my personal collection—assembled over a lifetime—and, as such, is imbued with the history of its time, its maker, its giver and my experience with the object over the years. The objects may be used in response to a current situation such as the onset of the 9/11 anniversary—September 11 (Rise and Fall)—or the objects may put themselves forward, an intuitive attraction between artist and material. An example of this approach is the stick in November 11 (Time and Television)—a gift from a fellow artist that I have owned for over thirty years—that was altered during its lengthy immersion in a creek near Oviedo, Florida. The patterned surface of the stick acts as a foil to the electric and constantly changing images on a television screen, now sealed with Tar Gel within the unit.

The third critical component of these sculptures is the color pink which represents childish innocence, especially that of young girls. Pink is also commonly used in sweets such as cotton candy and bubble gum, deceptively beautiful before eating, but rendering a quickly dissipating sugar high and an often difficult to remove sticky residue. The consumption and after effects are rather like the memories of childhood, beautiful for a moment, then reality arrives as a disruption in your digestive system or a blob on your shoe.

Judith Page