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Chuck Mahley
Artist Statement

Recent objects I have been creating can be described as physical projections of a mental world.  The forms all have a reference to the body, but their intent has less of a physical action with the body as opposed to a projection of thoughts or emotions onto a physical entity.  As the issues that surround my work are imperfect, so are the objects that represent them.

Prostheses and augmentations are imbedded references in my works.  A prosthetic in relation to the work is a physical attachment for a physical deficiency; whereas an augmentation is an enhancement to a physical form that can sometimes enhance an emotional state. The objects I create lie somewhere in between these two concepts.  Attachments, connections, and dysfunctions are interventions that make connections to the body. Often the end result with this designed multiplicity is unexpected; connections are often pulled together to create an enlivened discourse as opposed to needing assistance.  Many of my own works hold absurd qualities as devices that are wearable but cause a hindrance more than assistance to the user.

There are strong connections to both the found materials I use and the industrial wooden elements that I then add to complete the works.  This interconnectivity often leads to playful approaches when putting parts together.  Play, in adolescent form, is required to inform the individual of their surroundings as well as helping the individual create the required connections to communicate with others.  While engaging in similar play as an adult, the actions are more sophisticated and often more solitary.  Although playing can provide an adult a greater understanding of one's self, our society does not generally except “Adult Play” as a necessity. 

This repression breeds discontent within me about the social roll of an adult.  As an adult, work takes the place of play.  The homogeny of life sets in, dulling the senses and shrinking the imagination, and it is this moribund state that my work reflects.  In the attempt to reconnect with childhood in order to explore the possibilities of play, my experiences as an adult distort the end results; creating Toys of Cognitive Dissonance.  The objects that I create may not be perfect, just as life is not always perfect; but they do not have to be perfect to be beautiful.