Artists manipulate visual symbols for the purpose of communication. The challenge is to organize these symbols and their attendant associational values in a coherent fashion so that a sympathetic viewer can grasp their meaning. In my case, I use images such as ping-pong paddles, shovels and disposable paint brushes in order to prompt the viewer to try to decipher my stance regarding the context and utility of such tools. I choose to use this shared language of contemporary consumer culture to comment on our various individual and collective human weaknesses. Ultimately, I want my work to function as a humorous voice of restraint, a gentle reminder that we can all do better if we just try.
James H. Calvin