Fictitiously Commemorating One’s Self:
Defining Personal Identity Through Imaginative
Modes of Translating Introspection
The nature of my work is very much rooted in narrative and its content always involves or revolves around a highly abstracted and fictitious rendering of some kind of observation of my many human shortcomings. I wanted to use this presentation to address my personal interests in utilizing glass, imagery, and the written word within a sculptural context in relation to my work. In referencing historical glass, contemporary craft, and popular culture I discussed the relevance of these sources to the development of the ideas and processes that guide my practice. I also discussed my approach towards the narrative aspect of the work in relation to my interests in the essence of human fallibility, the human response to personal conflict, and the virtues within struggle, humility, and failure… discomforting factors that, whether we like it or not, allow us to continually redefine ourselves and, therefore, serve as highly transformative opportunities.
Since my youth I have come to recognize that comic books had, undoubtedly, left a tremendous impression upon me. They are responsible for my interest in images and drawing. They are responsible for my interest in words and writing. They are responsible for my value for imagination and making. But, most importantly, they are responsible for laying the conceptual foundation with which I’ve built my artistic development upon. Initially, the superhero comic character was adopted as a personal and legitimate catalyst for change. However, the ideals represented within traditional heroic fantasy that I had been inspired by during my adolescence do not translate well during such an antiheroic age that we live in at present. Aside from their visual potency, comic books have served as a personally relevant medium that examines difficult issues simply in the way in which the stories are canonically structured. These elements of confronting personal conflict, questioning identity, and of undergoing radical transformations are the thematic pillars to every comic book character narrative. They also happen to be points of interest that motivate the basis of my work.
I acknowledge this to be an odd fascination, but personally meaningful, nonetheless. The materials used to apply graphics are selected to be intentionally primitive and non-traditional. In using spray paint, Sharpies, and children’s Crayola markers the motive is to find the extraordinary potential within very ordinary means of self-expression…to make these materials “pass” in a visually glorious manner. This is a constant consideration within how I go about my work as an attempt to externally implement the process of radical transformation…of hoping to find my own capacity of substantiality as a common individual by uncovering the unique and unforeseen potential of the most unsung of mark-making tools.
I am so incredibly happy to have had the opportunity to introduce myself to the international community within my presentation at the 41st annual GAS Conference. Of course, there is so much more I wanted to share within my lecture that time just wouldn’t allow. Similarly, there is still so much more I’d like to convey through this essay that the spatial guidelines of the GAS Journal cannot permit either. As a result, I encourage anybody who’s interested to visit my website at davidschnuckel.com. It is there that one can further investigate my work and find links that lead to sites which host other writings of mine including my MFA Thesis dissertation and even an uncut version of this essay for your perusal.