Lives and Works: Maspeth, NY
ISW: What mediums do you work with? How would you describe your subject matter?
JS: My work is devised from an eclectic mix of food products and found objects. The subject matter centers around the playful examination of the brazen fast food propaganda of Popular Culture.
ISW: How do you see fast food acting as propaganda for popular culture?
JS: The fast food advertising kingdom is a colossal commonwealth of money hungry illusionists employing beautiful things in order to candy coat and methodically advocate garbage. It’s brilliant. The original fame monster.
ISW: Who is your favorite artist, either contemporary or from the past and why?
JS: Picasso was my first love. And the photography of Robert Mapplethorpe excites me in a subtle way that makes me feel like I'm the only one watching.
ISW: Do you see your work as revealing the dangers of being overly immersed in popular culture. Are the sculptures telling us truths, and if so, in what way?
JS: The work is a sarcastic reply to the Pop Culture appeal for submission. It is not a warning of significant of danger ahead, just another side to the story. I indulge in whatever gets the most votes. I have undoubtedly come to the conclusion that fast food can actually make you fast. Not speed wise. The only existing truth to popular culture is the response it gets.
ISW: How do you begin creating your sculptures? Do you have a sketch first?
JS: My planning usually consists of shopping and hunting, feeling and finding cheap glamour that was instinctively meant for more. Once I am excited about my treasures I begin working. I never sketch first.
ISW: Do you see your work as autobiographical?
JS: In a sense. The materials I use excite me wildly and relate closely to my taste for tawdry, enigmatic refinement. There is a reflection of things for which I once had a passion. Revealing specifics literally though only cheapens the rarefied
ISW: Any up-coming shows?
JS: Currently my work is on display at “ The 230 Moving Sale," a show held on the Upper West Side in conjunction with Ricco Maresca Gallery.
ISW: Do you see your work as relating to any current movement or direction in visual art or culture?
JS: The work is fresh, and alive, current with the latest tastefully gaudy products plucked from the finest dollar stores and thrift shops of New York City and beyond. It recycles beauty in a new light.
ISW: What are you currently reading, listening to or looking at to fuel/inspire your work?
JS: The radio. It makes me fell young and naïve; sitting prey for the predators of Pop Culture.
ISW: Has there been a shift or change in your life or work that has led to what you’re making now?
JS: Hunger, lust, belief in creating a famous fantastical truth that seems to rule the world these days. I am making my piece of the pie.
ISW: What do you want your work to do?
JS: Excite, offend, urge, make you want more. Maybe make you hungry, too.
ISW: Hungry for food, sex, or something else?
JS: Hungry for ulterior motives.
ISW: How do you know a piece is completed?
jS: When it feels like I haven’t just made that. It existed naturally.
ISW: Who is your role model?
JS: The person I tell myself I am as I leave my apartment in the morning.
ISW: What is your greatest fear?
JS: Going blind, the resurrection of prohibition and saturated fats.
ISW: What advice has influenced you?
JS: That what you see is rarely what you really get, that what’s on the inside is rarely what really counts, and too much of a good thing can be a very, very good thing. Do as I do, not as I say.
ISW: What is your greatest achievement?
JS: Realizing who I am as an artist and acting upon it. Being one of twelve selected for the Tin Ship Artist Residency program two years back to back wasn't bad either.