Protective Cocoons: Artist Statement

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The Protective Cocoon series is inspired by the birth of my son and my instinctive need to protect and nurture him. Influenced by their protective qualities, I loosely use cocoons as a visual metaphor to represent my parental experience.

These sculptures are a visual amalgamations of mechanics, cast iron, robotics, science fiction, as well as fantastical mutated creatures. I have given the Poisoned Cocoons trompe-l'oiel apparatuses like blades, propellers, spikes, and bones. Representing life’s visceral need to defend itself. These sharp objects are reminiscent of both natural and human-made protective devices.

Furthermore, miniature African inspired/reproduced masks are embedded in each sculpture. I am interested in the anthropomorphic quality these masks. I see a correlation between the ancient animism and zoomorphic qualities of some native cultures’ art forms and a wild future life that could result from humanity’s manipulation of the natural world.

Additionally, I add random graphic elements that may include, ceramic inlaid carvings, drawing, decals, or any number of two-dimensional image types to each sculpture's surface. This layering of content is my way of visually discussing the fragility and complexity of life.

These sculptures’ disparate and often confusing visual and physical influences represent my attempt to understand and respond to parenting in the twenty-first century; a time of human induced environmental devastation, loss of biodiversity, increased natural disaster, violent human conflict, and other frightening aspects of living and raising children on this planet. I also see these pieces as hopeful interpretations of earth's future life.

Gerard Justin Ferrari
January 3, 2013