ArtTRUST - Why do you create sculpture?ArtStone below installed in Orlando 2006
Michael - Art enables us to express ourselves in ways that would be difficult with only words.
ArtTRUST - Why did you create a sculpture like Mr. Casual?
Michael - Many artists take themselves too seriously . . . I try to do a piece like this at least once a year. My wife thinks it is a self-portrait . . . not true! My spoof on "American Gothic" is called "Modern Gothic," and its photo is on my website.
ArtTRUST - Do you prefer one medium over another?
Michael - Not really . . . different shapes suggest different materials and different materials create different moods. Occasionally I paint a wood shape because the grain fights the form, but the warmth of wood is somehow seductive.
ArtTRUST - What inspires your creations?
Michael - Many things . . . sometimes the medium tends to dictate the eventual form, sometimes you get an idea and sketch it. If it is complex, I sketch the components . . . sometimes I build a model first and fine-tune it prior to attempting a full-size sculpture.
ArtTRUST - Who are your favorite sculptors?
Michael - That's easy . . . I love organic shapes, so that makes Nature one of my favorite sculptors. As far as artists in history, Henry Moore and Noguchi with their shapes and Calder's mobiles are equally good.
ArtTRUST - Do you see an art resurgence?
Michael - We have a long way to go . . . in some communities we see art becoming part of the cityscape and commercial interests realizing that art is good for business. In others, a tractor pull or a wrestling match will out-draw almost any art event.
ArtTRUST - What is your take on art of today?
Michael - There are many talented artists in the world today . . . unfortunately, they don't all have good taste. That is really what good art is all about . . . tasteful, creative, and quality workmanship.
There is a lot of junk-art, lewd and sexually explicit art (shock art) and several mis-guided museum directors. I hope we survive it and add more good art to our world.
We need to add much more commemorative sculpture to our world . . . these icons give us a better sense of our roots.
ArtTRUST - Why did you feel the need for a new outdoor sculpture medium?
Michael - We had no stone in Shreveport and no foundries. Carving large stone pieces is very time consuming and expensive and I wouldn't dare pour a major casting without traveling to the foundry to check the mold, etc. . . which adds to the cost.
I have always been innovative with an eye towards cutting costs. With this medium, I have eliminated many non-art costs, such as huge foundations, much of the material hauling, and crane expense.