The Art of Found Objects: Interviews with Texas Artists

By Robert Craig Bunch | Go to book overview

Al Souza

Received March 7, 2011, from Houston
Born 1944, Plymouth, Massachusetts; lives
in Wendell, Massachusetts, and St. Croix,
US Virgin Islands

Figure 67. Al Souza, Chauncey Gardner, 2004

Puzzle parts and glue on wood, 72" × 72"

Courtesy of the artist and Moody Gallery, Houston
Collection of Condé Nast

Photograph: Al Souza

Q How has your training as an engineer influenced your work as an artist?

A Although I got a BS in civil engineering and worked as an aeronautical engineer for three years, I was never really an engineer. I was more interested in the nonfunctional use of materials. I was more interested in what something looked like when it was destroyed than when it was built.

Q Describe the genesis and evolution of your multilayered jigsaw-puzzle works. What debt do you owe to Jess or other artists for this series?

A I started using puzzles as an alternative to using paint. Friends of mine had had negative, unhealthy reactions to solvents, and I wanted to find another way of using color and images. I also wanted to use materials that were not toxic to the environment.

I was not really aware of Jess’s work until I started exhibiting with his gallery in San Francisco. My use of puzzle parts had very little to do with the surreal imagery that he was involved with. Mine was more about the storm of images that bombard us every day.

QBook Covers Books (2010) alters two copies of what appears to be a book about book covers. Which book have you altered, and why? As with your jigsaw-puzzle pieces, the concept of multiple layers seems to be at work here. What dictates what you hide and what you reveal?

A I originally was cutting the copies of book covers from the book about book covers for a collage. I discovered that I was more interested in what I hadn’t intended to use than what I had intended to use. This often happens to me. It’s almost as if I become aware of a chance operation that I’ve unconsciously performed.

-165-

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The Art of Found Objects: Interviews with Texas Artists
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Margaret Adie 9
  • Helen Altman 12
  • Celia Álvarez Muñoz 14
  • The Art Guys- Michael Galbreth 17
  • Jack Massing 19
  • Frances Bagley 22
  • Karin Broker 25
  • Maureen Brouillette 28
  • Steve Brudniak 31
  • Margarita Cabrera 35
  • Eugene W. R. Campbell Jr 38
  • Danville Chadbourne 40
  • Claire Cusack 46
  • Robert Dampier 48
  • Roberto del Rio 51
  • Martin Delabano 54
  • Vernon Fisher 58
  • Trenton Doyle Hancock 60
  • Vincent Hannemann 62
  • Ann Harithas 66
  • Dana Harper 69
  • Joseph Havel 71
  • Tracy Hicks 73
  • Paul Horn 77
  • Otis Huband 79
  • Christopher Hynes 81
  • Barbara Irwin 83
  • Joy Jenkins 85
  • Norman Kary 89
  • Mimi Kato 93
  • Sharon Kopriva 96
  • Laura Jean Lacy 98
  • Marilyn Lanfear 101
  • Lance Letscher 104
  • Ken Little 106
  • Bert L. Long Jr 111
  • Jesse Lott 115
  • Edward Lane McCartney 117
  • Mary McCleary 121
  • Leila McConnell 124
  • Kelly O’Connor 127
  • Mari Omori 129
  • Kathleen Packlick 131
  • Angelica Paez 134
  • Kevin Parmer 136
  • Forrest Prince 139
  • Russell Prince 142
  • Dario Robleto 144
  • Aaron Roe 147
  • Jonathan Rosenstein 149
  • John Mark Sager 151
  • Joel Sampson 154
  • Ward Sanders 156
  • Luke Savisky 158
  • Kelly Sears 163
  • Al Souza 165
  • Julie Speed 167
  • James Michael Starr 169
  • Henry Stein 173
  • Gary Sweeney 175
  • Cecil Touchon 177
  • Patrick Turk 181
  • Janet L. Waldrop 184
  • Debbie Wetmore 186
  • Steve Wiman 188
  • Sources and Further Reading 191
  • Index 199
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