Artist statement

In many ways artists are the eyes and the conscience of the world.

 

The way we convey meaning in our work triggers responses among people who didn’t think a particular issue concerns them. Whether it be the environment, the state of our schools, immigration issues, human issues, poverty, the loss of our land, water issues or even the loss of our dark skies, through their observation and manifold expressions, artists are a catalyst to change in the world.

 

This has been a driving force in my work as a writer, composer, film maker, photographer and performance artist since the 1980s, and it continues to be the root of all I do.

 

We bring change by thinking big and listening to our communities – especially those whose voices are too often lost in the shuffle. We do so by closely observing the world around us and expressing it through imagery of every sort. We do so by throwing aside the concept that we are somehow experts and giving in to the fact that life is about constant learning and rethinking.

 

My work is typically about finding commonalities that connect village, city, state, country and world. It is about process, how things change over time, and how people shape their destinies. I try to create works with a broader arc, be they visual works that represent epic vistas or compress time, or documentary film works that try to expose the interrelationships of often unrecognized factors of the world around us.

 

I try to create works that blend the humorous and the serious, the sacred and profane, the mundane and the extraordinary, the indigenous and the newcomer.

But I am serious about all of my work, and especially about the constant effort that goes into improving my craft on multiple fronts at every juncture.

 

In college I studied the geology of the moon, and doing so took me all over the state. It opened my eyes to the sheer beauty of the place I lived. But it also instilled in me a sense of methodology, a need to seek the truth, and a collaborative spirit in working, whether it be with a team or my community. I remain a work in progress, shaped by opportunities and interactions that I purposely seek out.

 

Is my work making an impact? Yes. My Cine Plaza documentary series is changing how Mexican American communities view themselves, their neighborhoods, their history and their place in our community. My film on El Casino Ballroom breathed new life into a treasured home of tolerance, cultural gathering and celebration. And my current film in production, “The Mariachi Miracle,” is showing those throughout the youth mariachi and folklorico communities of Arizona and the U.S. what a profound impact these programs are having on America and the world.

 

My photographic work is about current and future generations. The panoramas attempt to make our breathtaking vistas a thing we hold close and vow to protect. The time lapses are about the transitive nature of earth and sky, but also about the transitive nature of life. To me these pieces are the quietest and deepest of my works to date, and the ones with the greatest potential to become elements of public art, discussion and expansion into a variety of multimedia realms.


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