In the sculpture “Choosing Masks”, the internalized voices of friends are shown as transparent portraits, layers to be peeled away from the outside, moving inwards, like an onion, or Russian doll. The central player in this pageant of personality is a self-portrait of the young, thin Steve. Keeping in mind that concepts of the self are a 20th century construct, the question becomes, not “I think , therefore I am, “ but what problems are most important to discuss with my shrink today, or in this case, the Rabbi.
The mystery of distinctions between a parent’s voice in mind saying “do your homework”, messages from spirituality if you are a believer, and intuitions that are genetically inherent through evolution, imbedded in the structure of DNA, are the impetus behind this job I have taken on, of making portraits in graduated sizes, diminishing and increasing, which are about reincarnation, the soul’s journey through time via lifetimes. Here, smaller equals further away, Perspective becomes a metaphor for distance from the past.
Of course, this is only a theory. Travelling backwards and forwards in time through the seesaw of memory and imagination, we can only guess at how things work and are put together; the self is a mirror which reflects moments, like words in a parable which we are constantly re-writing, in a personal narrative of reinvention. Sometimes it feels that personae, the influence of others, and wherever one might be in their personal trajectory of changes, are all faces of some, deeper, more essential truth.