Saturday, May 3, 2014



Bureau:  How long have you been creating objects?

CS: I have been creating for as long as I can remember. When I was five, my father gave me a bunch of scrap wood and a hammer and let me build my first chair. The chair took on characteristics of a Gerrit Rietveld classic De Stijl chair and was built to the best of my abilities. It held together with bent nails, hammer dents, and rather rickety but surprisingly strong enough to hold both me and my father. Before that I can't really remember, but I'm sure I was messing around with something in my dad's studio.

Bureau: Your sculpture work is very impressive, do you have any immediate influences?

CS: Too many to list. I am a third generation artist and grew up surrounded by art. I spent the majority of my youth going to museums, galleries, openings, and artists' studios with my father and found that most of everything I saw, I absorbed into my own practices. Most of my work is informed by art history and characteristics of both modern and contemporary art.

Bureau: The work seems to be evolving from a raw aesthetic into a kind of refined ideology, what drives the evolution of your work?

CS: Well I try to just go with the flow of my styles, but I leave my practices open for growth and experimentation into many different mediums, processes and concepts. I don't necessarily like to stick to one or the other so that I can always be thinking about different avenues and approaches to making art. 

Bureau: Much of your work is charged with a pervasive sexuality, how much do personal relationship effect our work as artists?

CS: Depends on the artist. For me, my personal relationships certainly effect avenues of my artwork. My Master's thesis was centered on the idea of unions between two objects and was mainly influenced by the relationship I have with my fiancée Theresa Karnick and my immediate family. The connections between the two objects in each piece in the thesis show hold metaphorical and symbolic significance to my own relationships, but also to anyone and everyone. I feel that as an artist I can look into my own relationships for inspiration because they are what shape my life and my life shapes my art.  

title: Plumb  materials: Birch, Bass wood. 24" x  24" x 72"   2011

Bureau: You have experimented with video, photography and sculpture, do any of these mediums inform each other?

CS: Yeah, although they are completely different mediums, depending on how I use them and in what context I use them, I feel that they can transform into each other or at least take on characters of each other.  For instance, I take photographs of lumber and scale and print them to life size, and mount the photos back onto the original piece of wood.  In some versions I remove the photographed knot hole and expose the real wood knot below. Once the photo is mounted onto the wood, the photograph transforms into that piece of wood and turns into, at least for me, a sculpture and not a photograph. Or in another piece, I projected a video of a braille book onto a blank braille-less book. The viewer went to touch the book and felt nothing, losing the image of the braille under their hands shadow. The video for me transformed into or informed the sculptural aspect of this work. Although the video I made was used traditionally as a projection, the act of using it to imply space and texture, I feel became sculpture and transcended the medium of video.

title: Transporters  materials : Balsa wood, Bass wood / Dimensions Variable 2010 - 2011

Bureau: Did you go to school and what did you pick up along the way ?

CS: I started my studies by attending Joliet Jr. College in Illinois, were my father was my teacher and mentor. I then went on to the New World School of the Arts in Miami, FL where I received my BFA. Immediately upon graduating I pursued my MFA from University of Miami, and as of this weekend have now received it. Along this long journey I have picked up so much I wouldn't even know where to begin. I couldn't narrow down to anything specific without going on and on because they taught me so much. I did find that by working through art schools, I now think that I know what the hell it is I am doing as an artist and what my work is about, in ways. I don't think I'll ever stop picking up things throughout my life as an artist.

Bureau: PLUSH is a lovely object, tell us a little about the process of creating this work from beginning to end.

CS: Well this was a tricky piece to make, and rather interesting that you ask about this piece the way you do, wanting to know from beginning to end. I'll keep it short for you. This piece is the final version of three attempts. The first version gave me tremendous amounts of difficulties and eventually was scrapped and recycled to attempt it again. After getting about 98percent of the way complete with making the second version, an electrician went into my studio and attempted to move it. It resulted in being completely demolished and an insurance claim with their company. After the third attempt I was successful and able to create this plush form. The piece was tricky because it has both and interior view and exterior view and made from ceramic. Its form takes on resemblances of pillows or for me a plush shape and needed to be as smooth and uniform as possible. 

Bureau: How important is experimentation in your work?

CS: Extremely, how else am I going to grow or learn anything?

Bureau: Some of your works are rather obsessive, like the cigarette sculpture. Tells us about following through with your ideas and how that works.

CS: I'm still trying to figure that out. I don't know what makes me choose the pieces or ideas or processes that I want to work with until the time comes. If I have an idea and I can't shake it for a few months I know that I have to look into it a little deeper and make the idea come to life.

Bureau: You have representation on the East Coast at NOW Gallery, where else can we find your work and what are you working on at this time? 

CS: As of right now I am mainly in private collections, in Chicago, LA, New York, and Miami, but currently only showing out of Miami. My next projects involve a series of sculptures based around birdhouses and another series based on child hood objects such as a large scale pacifier, a high high chair, and other children's toys.



 " I aspired to the artists of my own generation and those from past" 
- James Gabbard   Photographer

" The bookshop, the books within and all of our beloved customers and friends 
have always served as my family." 
- Dennis Wills   Bookstore Owner

" The rawness and the "mistakes" are what make photography unique..." 
-Matt Schwartz  Photographer

" I treated each interview like a masterclass in filmmaking." 
-Tom Donahue   Film Director

" If I have an idea and I can't shake it for a few months, I know that I have to 
look into it a little deeper..."
- Colin Sherrell   Sculptor

"Directing is the most intense and amazing journey that you can go through."
- Diego Luna     Film Director

" For me, photographs are a very unique way of remembering."
- Dennis Morris     Photographer

" I wanted to play in a band where i'm  allowed to express vocally in a variety of  
styles, whether it's rock, punk, blues, cabaret …"
- Timur Bekbosunov    Performer

"  I think that music is the universal language. "  
- Miles  Perlich   Disc  Jockey

" I always try to do projects where I learn stuff as I'm going. "
- Sandow  Birk     Artist  

" Every poem that I write is from something that actually happened."  
Sabreen   Shabazz    Poet

" As far as tuning, I think the best way to sum it up is that it's a  manipulation  
  of  intervals.  "                                                              
  - Annie Hayden  Piano Tuner 

" I never get tired of creating.  "                            
  - Jimmy Steinfeldt   Photographer

" What better vehicle for your home sickness in Hollywood  than to write 
  music ? "                                                            
 - Patrick Reiger   Musician

"My dad started running the place in 1978 with a couple partners &  
 eventually ran the place by himself. "                      
 - Michael Torgan     Cinema Owner 

" Were trying to do something thats original and different. " 
 - Bernard Hiller      Acting Coach 

" It's compelling, it's provocative, it's theatrical."
 - Bob Thompson    Theater Producer  

" It was like subverting culture into becoming it's own art form." 
  - Ruby  Ray     Photographer            

" I am motivated to do it because I have had an experience that I 
  have to somehow make visual . "                       
 - Joan Schulze    Artist & Lecturer 

" What can you do to make a difference ? "       
 - Miguel Rivera   Organic Farmer