The Cakeland concept began in about 2005. Experimenting with new media, especially decorative media not normally associated with fine art, is part of my search as a sculptor to keep my hands interested and to deliver my message with a clear impact. This body of work is a result of self-education, a lifelong interest in artificial food and objects, and an obsession with the relationship between the beautiful and the brutal.
All beautiful things are equipped with a defense mechanism, to protect against the predations of those who seek to possess. The mechanizations of the predator also have a terrifying elegance. The two working together tell a very old story, and are the basis of many archetypes.
Why then, to use an absurd media like fake cake to describe such a story? We all love cake and what it signifies. Celebration. Important occasion. Indulgence. Reward. It is fortunate for myself and my sculptures that our minds are highly suggestive, and that we are willing to tolerate the idea of something artificial to represent what we desire. The representation itself becomes that which is most desirable. These sculptures celebrate the beauty, rapaciousness and absurdity we all participate in.
The cakes are typically constructed out of a carvable polyurethane sculpting foam, which is shaped with handheld Japanese woodcarving knives and rasps. They are then frosted and decorated with a variety of thickened acrylic gels, using traditional cake decorator tools and pastry bags. They are then accessorized with assorted media: mirrors, switchblades, taxidermy jaws, pills… some are purchased, some are found on the street near my studio in Oakland.
The Installations are either constructed as permanent or temporary structures, and generally utilize cardboard, theatrical lighting, full length mirrors, hand-made chandeliers, and whatever else is available on hand that could lend itself well to the atmosphere.