G r a h a m    L a n e

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As a child I was always taking things apart that had warning labels like, “Do Not Open!” and “Risk of Electric Shock!” I saw those warnings as invitations that said, “Open me now, so you can see how I work!” I had to find out what was inside and I still find myself taking things apart (sometimes things I shouldn’t). My need to understand machines and gadgets developed into making kinetic sculpture.

As an artist I am still interested in how things work, but now I am more interested in how people work, how the mind works. I use traditional figurative elements and industrial machines to examine the relationships between man and technology, as well as man’s desire to have more and more control over his environment. In our attempts to control our surroundings we often lose sight of our own, imperfect, human nature and we habitually see ourselves and our actions in desensitized, scientific terms. I enjoy showing people the embarrassing, awkward parts of humanity, the parts that we pretend to have outgrown. I want to make people see the things that they try to hide from themselves and I want them to be amused by it.

My aesthetic is driven by early industrial machines that were designed with artistic beauty in mind. An extensive display of steam engines at the Deutsches Museum, in Munich, Germany has significantly influenced my work due to the craftsmanship involved in their construction. We frequently hide the technologically superior machines that we build within flat metal boxes. Likewise, we hide our own internal workings behind the absurd concepts of who we are “supposed” to be.

Most of my sculptures are examinations of human processes, and usually represent a specific emotion. The sculptures themselves are mechanical and become a physical manifestation of that emotion. I might use jerky, repetitive motions to convey obsessive frustration, or to communicate persistence and patience I might use calm, smooth movement. Finding a way for my kinetic sculptures to mimic human qualities has become a way for me to understand people.

I enjoy working with circuitry and mechanics, as well as working with funny subject matter. I get a great deal of satisfaction from a career in sculpture that grew from an earlier desire to mess with things that have labels like "Do Not Open."