Artist Statement
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(l-r) Female & Male Figures, Imunu
Gulf Province, Iwaino People
Marcia & John Friede Collection


“Big Foot?” No, Paintball Ghillie Suit.


Along with classical and contemporary art influences, I have always felt a great affinity with Tribal and Native art and artifacts. Some bizarre vestiges of culture also fascinate me, as ghillie suits, taxidermy, reliquaries...and artists using roadkill.

The New Guinea Imunu figures are in the Jolika Collection at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. The shaman goes on a spiritual quest to find a mangrove root that is the expression of the Imunu, a spirit being. His quest is interesting to me as it relates to my own search for driftwood in the art-making process.

The HUICHOL yarn painting in my collection (below), titled “Rakawe” (Grandmother Growth), is by artist Armando de la Cruz. He incorporates his peoples’ sacred symbols of the snake and the visions-inducing peyote. The Huichol Indians travel from their home in the rugged Sierra Madre Mountains in Jalisco, Mexico to tourist towns such as Puerto Vallarta to sell their works.

MILAGROS are metal religious charms representing the various parts of an individual’s life including, head, heart, limbs, animals, houses, and cars. I have used these references in my art since finding them years ago in Mexico. I made the above necklace with milagros purchased from an ancient woman vendor outside a church.

I was searching the web for coyote photos to use as reference for a sculpture when I ran across GHILLIE SUITS. I knew about camouflage but this was a whole new category for me. Scottish shepherds made the first ghillies as a means to hide while protecting their flock from poachers and animal predators. The military, hunters, and, recently, paintballers evolved this camouflage idea. Ghillie Suits ( features the version shown in photo at left.