THE SCHOOL OF RELATIONSHIPS
– Mark Webber
Perhaps the best way to make an artist statement is to write about what my art is not or where its roots may have originated, or has been better said than I could ever do so.
"The highest level of expression is not to create something from nothing, but rather to nudge something that already exists so that the world shows up more vividly."—Lee Ufan.
Ufan was part of a movement called Mono-ha or translated literally “the school of things”. With all movements, you need to define what it is you are rebelling against. So to state that the highest level of expression is to nudge something that already exists is enlightening, but to simultaneously disdain art that creates something from nothing is perhaps closed-minded.
My hydrocal pieces are about creating something from nothing (hydrocal powder and water). My work using stone, steel, copper, and wood are about nudging existing materials towards a higher level of expression and taking these common, unrelated materials and placing them so that they create a totally new, unexpected relationship with the hydrocal - that is art.
I was never instructed as to what works or doesn’t work in a classical ART sense. At times my art is serious, yet at the same time whimsical. And unpredictable. No predetermined formula. There exists a “natural” conflict, like all relationships, which I accomplish with the use of different materials and the ways I bring them together. Give them a new life. They get along because of conflict. Not in spite of it. In a way, if one definitively knows why a piece works, then actually it doesn’t. Making art is not a solo endeavor, although it might appear that way, but it is a relationship to the material, to the landscape, to the people around me, that are in constant change, and constantly challenge me to change.
I think as people, we respond to art that we can relate to in some way. To create order internally, yet letting it fall apart. Are the abstract pieces a reflection of the struggle to make sense of it all?
Webber studied under Charles Ginnever and Peter Forakis at Windham College in Vermont. He received a BFA in sculpture at SUNY, Purchase. He has exhibited at many galleries in the Hamptons and is in several private collections on the East Coast. Webber resides in Sag Harbor, NY.