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To Arms! To Arms!

2017

Ceramics, Wood, Mixed Media

10 x 11 x 8 inches

Veterans arrived back home from the war with Mexico, "broken down, out of health and dispirited- many minus an arm or leg destined to be cripples all their life."

 

 Border Crossing  2017  Ceramics  16.5 x 22 x 5 inches

Border Crossing

2017

Ceramics

16.5 x 22 x 5 inches

Poilu

2017

Ceramics

14 x 16 x 5.5 inches

American Infidelities

2018

Ceramic, wood, mixed media

9 x 14.5 x 11 inches

Grover Cleveland, both the 22nd and 24th president, “Big Steve” or to his detractors the "Buffalo Hangman” for personally hanging two men while serving as Sheriff of Erie County. While Sheriff he seduced the widower Maria Crofts Halpin who then fell pregnant with his child. Following the child's birth, he denied paternity, had the woman was placed in a mental asylum and the child in an orphanage while Cleveland went onto to become governor of New York, and then President, all on the slogan “Grover the Good” It would later be shown he had a proclivity to these sorts of things when he eventually married his near god-daughter 27 years his junior, who he had once bought her a baby carriage, when she turned 21 in the only wedding ceremony by a sitting president. His last words mark the end of a life of conviction, “I have tried so hard to do right”

Double Exposure

2018

Ceramic, wood, mixed media

8 x 17 x 11.5 inches

Chang and Eng Bunker, the original "Siamese Twins" were born in Siam(Thailand) in 1811, moved to America and married the Yates sisters of North Carolina, fathering 21 children. After a number of years of sharing a house, their wives began to dislike each other and separate households were forced to be set up. As one Doctor noted, “We were told in North Carolina they had agreed that each should in turn control the action of the other. Thus End would for one week be complete master… and Chang would submit his will and desires completely to those of Eng and vice versa.” Due to anatomical constrictions, a four-way orgy was not likely possible, and this would always lead to one brother always being the ultimate third wheel.

 Though this seemed not to have stopped them much, they currently have over 1500 descendants meeting every year many of them wearing every year at the reunion bright orange shirts bearing the image of their he fecund ancestors with the text “our family sticks together.”

La Petit Mort

2017

Ceramic, wood, mixed media

10 x 15 x 10 inches

Napoleon III, the less illustrious nephew of the great Bonaparte, was “A short thickish vulgar looking man without the slightest resemblance to his imperial uncle or any intelligence in his countenance” A Casanova in his youth he was “a womanizer on an imperial scale”, each evening a different woman being brought to the palace of the Tuileries, undressed in an anteroom and escorted to the bed of his imperial majesty.

 Though possibly not quite the Don Juan as he is usually thought, one bedmate describing the following scene, “A brief period of physical exertion, during which he breaths heavily and the wax on the end of his mustache melts, causing them to droop, and finally a hasty withdrawal.” Though as the years of the empire wore on even these limited exertions were not possible, his chain smoking, arthritis, hemorrhoids, gout, and large Bladder Stone finally taking its toll. As his doctor said would say in the parlance of the time there was, “a rapid decline in his possibilities”

Snowblind

2017

Ceramics, polystyrene foam, wood, rope

Sir John Franklin’s Expedition left England with 129 men to traverse the North-West passage, vanishing off the coast of Greenland in the year 1845.  After 3 years trapped in the Arctic, the men were forced to initiate what could most appropriately be called a death march. They carried with them all the accouterments of English civilization – fine china and cut glass, Victorian silver, bibles and button polish. The prevailing attitude was “They perished gloriously.” All that remained of the best equipped expedition ever sent in search of the Northwest Passage were stark skeletons found in the snow years later, their attempt to conquer the arctic a sad testament to the hubris of mankind.

Female Equality: The Last Moments of Martha Place, 1899

2016

Ceramics, wood, leather, metal

13 x 11 x 8 inches

Martha Place, the Stuyvesant Heights-based "giantess" would earn the dubious distinction of being the first female sentenced to die in the electric chair. Marthahad, to utilize a phrase from the lexicon of the day, gone slightly, “off her trolley”, burning her stepdaughter Ida’s eyes with acid before forcing the girl to drink the poison and, when that failed, hacking her to death with an axe.  Vilified by the newspapers as "homely, old, ill-tempered, not loved by her husband," there was little sympathy for Martha's plea of insanity. "It was a murder so shocking," said one journalist, "that nothing worse could be thought of -- that is to say, only one thing worse could be thought of, and that was the electric killing of the old woman."  Teddy Roosevelt, governor at the time, refusing to be swayed by what he called "mawkish sentimentality," denied a stay of execution.  After the first jolt, the Hancock Street Murderess was gone. It was, per the prison doctor at Sing Sing, "the best execution that has ever occurred here."

Homecoming

2018

Ceramic, wood, mixed media

8 x 14 x 9 inches

One of those returning home 100 years ago from the Great War is Frederick Trice having lost both legs to a German Whizbang at Villers-Bretonneux in 1918.

The Old Soldiers’ Home

2018

Ceramic, wood, mixed media

9 x 16 x 9.5 inches

“All the men but one were dead; the lone survivor ‘stood upright looking down at his hands, from which the fingers had been shot away’ Before the war, he had been a concert pianist.”