310.650.6635 | Bill@BillKleiman.com

Artist’s Statement

My sculptures are playful metaphorical portrayals of the paradoxical nature of human existence. While difficult to categorize, they are simultaneously abstractions, landscapes and psychological portraits.

Each piece, when viewed as the sum of its parts, comes complete with evidence of its past and portents of its future, like moments isolated from the narrative flow of an imaginary history. A fountain irrigates what once was an arid landscape, yet shows evidence that it will quickly run out of water. Bamboo sprouts from an abscess in a raw, visceral membrane that it will soon overgrow. A sudden burst of squirting water requires the makeshift placement of buckets - only a temporary remedy for an uncontrollable leak.

But on closer examination, the exacting choice and sometimes contradictory handling and juxtaposition of materials gradually lead beyond the primary narrative and down a rabbit hole of humor, paradox and disorientation.

My sculptures contain: static, plastic representations of flowing liquid forms; aggressively fake, manmade materials masquerading as authentic nature or food; and products of complex and time-involved processes mimicking the appearance of slapdash, slacker improvisation.

In this way, the artist’s hand and choice of materials are integral to the overall meaning of the work, functioning as the sculptural equivalent of an untrustworthy and manipulative narrator.

Did tiny bubbles result from a chance process, or were they meticulously placed to spell the title of the piece? Were peppermints dissolved in someone’s mouth, or are they really toxic art materials better seen than tasted? And, is an uncontrollable leak actually an elaborately engineered fountain?

In each piece, the two plot lines bolster and subvert one another to form an intertwined and complex narrative that jumps between the image and its imaginary history, and the true and contrived fabrication processes and materials that brought it into being. Like a real-world human psyche, the pieces can be seen as many contradictory temperaments all occurring at one time: outwardly melancholy and internally hopeful; passionate and aggressive, yet humorous and whimsical.

Bill Kleiman, 2010