Derek Chalfant

Artist Statement 2006

The work I create is formed through casting (plastic resin, bronze, glass) and fabricating (wood, metal) objects; transforming my ideas and experiences into physical realities.  I have an interest in the orchestration of a variety of materials and search for contrast between the organic and geometric, the abstract and representational, and the raw and refined. Often I use themes, or sources, or objects I can trace back to my own personal history, which gives me an ancestral connection.

Many of the forms I create, reminiscent of architecture and objects of suggested utility, security and protection, are used as metaphors for our psychological behavior, and for the phenomenology of the body. Architectural furnishing structures like a chair and table, allow me to explore specific polar states that are relevant to the structure and also to the personal psyche such as; large/small, inside/outside, private/public, adult/child, beginning/end, birth/death.  The sculptures that I create are a means to reflect certain elements of our society.  Paradox is probably the most poignant in my work.  Part of the narrative in my pieces has to do with the human condition and in particular today’s youth.   Connotations of purity; innocence and promise are being subjected to some of the elements of the environment around it, which are disrespect, danger, violence and abuse.

To the viewer I hope to engage and reflect my questions and interests related to spirituality and sensitivity toward humanity.  It’s my desire for my sculptural work to be thought provoking as I attempt to create a richness of meaning with the ambiguities, enigmas, multiple layers and conflation's of both form and content.  Ultimately, I am responding to some my fears, emotions and environment while questioning the world in which we live.