The second image is of a plant that used to live at the end of my bed. I woke up to it slowly in the morning, thinking about it, among other things. The plant died about five years ago but I still return to this image quite often. The plant was a hildewintera aureispina which was simultaneously crested and monstrose (two mutations found in cacti). I am drawn to the inventiveness of accident in evolution that brought this plant, and other cacti and succulents, to be such strange and sculptural objects. Along with my plant collection, reading evolutionary theory has changed the way I view the world, and especially how I approach making. It has helped me embrace mistakes and failures, and has given me a love for the awkward.
The sculpture is a piece from my upcoming show at Jeff Bailey Gallery. While the plant was still alive my work had a more obvious connection to the ideas in evolution, both visually and conceptually. Now the connection to my work isn’t apparent to the viewer, but stronger and much deeper for me.
-Christian Maychack, 2012