The Art of Found Objects: Interviews with Texas Artists

By Robert Craig Bunch | Go to book overview

James Michael Starr

Received August 8, 2010
Born 1951, East Liverpool, Ohio; lives in Dallas

Figure 69. James Michael Starr, Ripple, 2010

Book covers, welded steel, 96" × 80" × 72"

Courtesy of the artist

Photograph: Kristopher Ellis

Q Your 2010 show at Hooks-Epstein in Houston was titled Stranger in a Strange Land. What is the connection to Robert Heinlein’s novel of the same name and to Moses’ words in Exodus, the source of Heinlein’s title?

A I’ve chosen not to allow my titles to steer anyone to a particular interpretation of my work. On the other hand, I have the sense that, however spontaneous it seems to be, the work is an expression of some thought or idea in me and that it must have some significance, else I wouldn’t be so driven in a particular direction in almost every piece. So to deny there is some meaning would be dishonest. It’s just that whatever does happen to be represented is so personal, it’s not only likely to be irrelevant to the next person, it also seems almost an act of inappropriate intimacy to share it with just anyone.

For instance, most artists have probably had the experience of giving in to answer a question about meaning only to be countered with the viewer’s own personal interpretation. This is so ironic it could be a comedy sketch, but I think it actually reveals a truth about art, that it cannot reflect objective truth. (For artists making overtly political statements in their work, this will not only be dismissed outright but pitied as a wasted opportunity to change minds. However, art doesn’t have that power unless it has transmogrified into propaganda or commercial art.)

To find my titles, either for individual works or for an exhibition, I meander through a stream-of-consciousness process that usually ends at a word or phrase reflecting whatever is on my mind at that particular moment. When Hooks-Epstein requested a title for the 2010 show, I was feeling on unsteady ground in several areas of my life including my work, and so Stranger in a Strange Land summed up my personal zeitgeist.

-169-

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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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