"Dowsing" has given me the opportunity to show examples of 4 different bodies of work that I have always felt were connected.  As artists we explore many subjects and materials, but I think on some level we are always asking ourselves the same question.
Chronologically the paprika chair came first, but since I made it on site it is also the newest piece. I first started working with paprika as an art material in graduate school.  I was trying to get closer to answering who I was and what I had to offer.  The paprika refers back to my grandparents’ Hungarian heritage, but it also points to my distance from that past.  Because the spice interacts with the air and fades, it carries with it a sense of time and loss.  It also represents the first of many times I turned to my kitchen for source material.
I was trained as a painter but I loved the stuff of art, the physical, the tactile, the weight, and eventually moved towards sculpture and installation.  I was attracted to the beauty and purity of minimalism and yet I knew on some level, it couldn’t be trusted.   Seeing the work of Ann Hamilton and Robert Gober opened up a world for me  - the wonder and complexity of the hand made object, the mystery of the personal and the awesome abundance of production.  Gober’s sinks were a revelation:  sincere, ridiculous, suggestive, funny and beautiful.  I wanted to make work that encompassed these contradictory qualities.   The cup and saucer pieces are part of this exploration.  Since Gober already made the sinks, I tried making the dishdrain by hand – a spectacular failure.  Instead I hit on incorporating the dishes themselves into the stuff of art so that they are transformed and made mute.
After graduate school I started working in the registrar’s office at the San Francisco Art Institute.  There I found a great old pad of ledger paper, made obsolete by computers.  I was an avowed Luddite then and I wanted to celebrate this artifact.  I loved the soft green color of the paper, the oddly warm lines of brown and green and their cryptic rhythm.  I worked with the paper for months in my studio - using whiteout to find patterns in the spaces between the lines; increasing the scale of the grid to create a 10 x 15’ wall mural.  I even tried isolating the brown lines and drawing them with glue and paprika.
My studio experiments weren’t going anywhere until I received an invitation from the Bedford Gallery near San Francisco to come get a piece of a 300 year old oak tree that was soon to be removed.  I took the one piece I could fit in the trunk of a car and let it sit in my studio for months.  Then it hit me – the lines of the wood grain suddenly aligned with the lines of the ledger paper – there was an intuitive connection and the rest would follow – and the binaries – manufactured and natural, real and abstract, analysis and synthesis, it could all be made to co-exist.
This work has grown into a series of wood panels where the pattern of the wood grain is left to interact with the lines of the grid suggesting landscapes and voids in space.
Finally, my most recent project is recreating my bathroom floor using the toilet paper rolls that have accumulated on my bathroom floor.   Each cardboard tube is scored and folded, creating a hexagonal form, then filled with plaster.  The visible edge of the cardboard reads as the grout between the tiles.  My bathroom being approximately 5’ x 7’ the completed project will require about 900 toilet paper rolls. 
This particular tile has been familiar since childhood and connects the phases of my life with a consistent pattern.   It serves as a tribute to artists like Julia Fish who see beauty in the commonplace.  The tile evokes a shared memory, a celebration of homes of a certain age, and the contrast of public buildings and private space.  
So how are these all connected?
I have no real interest in accounting.  I don’t want to delve into my Hungarian heritage.  I am more interested in bringing together two elements to create something new, to evoke that feeling of pleasure when we something is both strange and familiar, the act of incorporating a thing and its opposite.  According to Wikipedia "Synthesis solves the conflict between thesis and antithesis by reconciling their common truths and forming a new thesis, starting the process over."  Yeah, that's what I want to do.