For the past several years I have been working on a piece titled The Clown Genocide: a novel in woodcuts. This work is a story told in forty-two woodblock relief print images and it also includes ten accompanying bronze sculptures. The artistic intent of this work is threefold. Stylistically, I wanted to create a linear narrative told only in images. The style of the work is inspired by silent films and the works of Frans Masereel and Lynd Ward, whose woodcut novels from the early 20th century are now seen as the precursors to the modern graphic novel. Whereas I looked to these artists for inspiration, I strove to create my own style with my woodcuts and then translated this style into three dimensions with the bronze statues. Conceptually, I wanted to create a world in which I could tell the story of a mythical genocide so that I could challenge the viewer to ask questions about genocide and mass murder without any historical background knowledge. And, intellectually, I wanted to create a work that provokes questions: Why are some groups made the scape-goat for the troubles of society? What is the role of the average person in world events where mass murder is almost a daily news story? What does it mean to be a member of a society that has witnessed such events? And how do people heal from such events?
All prints are woodcut relief prints, 9” x 12.
The Clown Genocide- Bear Trap
9” x 6” x 45”