m. alexander dunn


artist statement

Nurtured through mathematical reasoning and scientific thought, my perception of the world around me has gradually transitioned from the realms of analytical questioning to that of accepting and embracing the natural world.  More and more, I have come to realize that the answers I seek lie within the inherent beauty of all things, and in turn I have become less concerned with understanding the reasons behind why they work.  Questioning is essential, yet it often overshadows the present. 

My work centers upon the fundamental yet undeniably complex characteristics of shapes themselves, and uses them to experiment with the concept of motion.  In this regard, I am interested in capturing a sense of the incomplete – conveying movement beyond the immediate space and time.  Though the permanence of the medium attempts to confine the structure within a single image, I strive to portray a snapshot of what is actually continuous motion.  I am fascinated by the idea of depicting a sense of action that does not complete itself, yet begs the mind to follow through with its particular course.   I also strive to engage the viewer with a feeling that mirrors my own desire for immediate and full interaction with the world.  Too often our thoughts and dreams separate us from embracing our surroundings – an observation that causes me to shy away from analysis and forces me instead to focus upon emotion and instinct.

While my pieces are generally constructed of very hard and rigid materials, they push to transpose what may seem to be unyielding into what is organic and fluid.  This notion reveals itself especially in my experimentation with steel – a medium that is often assumed to be stern and unforgiving.  By wrapping the almost skeletal structures in canvas, the true nature of the form is revealed, like skin over bones.  I am intrigued by the thought that all things may be seen as flowing and natural, once the veil of preconceptions has been lifted. 

As of late, I have become enraptured with the idea of fragmentation.  In both my sculptures and my paintings, I dissect the human form and focus upon a specific fraction of its essence, and then I strive to marry the world of realism with that of abstraction.  Through this progression I am able to bring the focus to the application process itself.  Most often I am infatuated with using a specific material and treating it almost as a skin; painstakingly applying it until it becomes one-and-the-same as the subject of the form.  This in turn personifies the material and allows me to create a direct connection between it and the human world.

As an artist, I hope to create a discourse between nature and myself; ultimately resulting in a similar dialogue between the viewer and the work I create.  It is my attempt to reveal how truly astounding and intricate the natural world is, no matter how seemingly simple or obvious it may be.  Upon viewing my work, I want the mind to bend beyond intuition and into a realm of wonder, somewhere almost archaic.  And once there, hopefully we will see through a lens of both amazement and recognition.