Romancing the Minimal, M.F.A. Exhibition

It has long been a goal of mine to bring my art into closer proximity to the non-art world, and utilizing the found object is a strategy for achieving that.

The object is not to be understood symbolically or to be read as part of a narrative. It stands on its own terms - not representing anything else. There is no illusion, no pretence, everything is what it is, and is there for a reason. The poetry of the physical is unveiled, and the ordinary becomes extraordinary. It is these qualities that I have recognized in the European approach to the object and which I have attempted to work into my recent art practice

The key for me in producing work which possesses more than just a passing resemblance to modern art is in selecting objects which also have what I call a poetic resonance. The poetic resonance of an object is created not just by its form but also through its identity. The object has had a life previous to its new life as art. It may be familiar, it had a function, and it was known in relationship to people and other things. It triggers memories and it suggests narratives. The found object is an object full of stories. Different viewers will find different stories. I am not aiming to create specific narratives; rather I want to provide a starting point for any number of readings. The object, although compelling visually, becomes a catalyst for an experience which reaches beyond the merely retinal. It relates to life beyond art. It speaks of the richness of the everyday

Richard van der Aa 2003