The Bricklayer’s Artist Statement

I build walls. Walls that keep the world at bay. Walls that protect. Walls that ward off invaders. Walls that create safe sanctuaries for human connection. Walls that prevent the leering eyes of a pervy neighbor off my sunbathing daughter.

Symmetry is my muse. Level is my supreme guide. Brick my medium. Sometimes terrazzo or mosaic cuz I am good with the tilesetting too. Mortar my connection. Trowel my instrument. Budweiser my punctuation point.

Budweiser is also my escape. That should be made clear.

The repetitive nature of this work frees my imagination to think about curves and escape from my straight angled prison. I think about the curves of the body of the womanly stranger passing by. I think about the fire in my round belly caused by a Frito pie from the canteen truck. I think about the curves of my wife’s sister’s body in particular. And of my daughter’s friend Ashley.

My work takes less of a critical view of sweeping social, emotional, political or cultural issues, and keeps it simple- to one brotherhood’s world view. This band of brothers (and sisters, but shit the gals are usually totally weak on a work crew), united in a union of craftworkers. We build the world from the terra up. Sir Winston Churchill was one of us on the weekends when he was sober enough and not keeping Nazis hordes at bay. Speaking of, Germans are kick as bricklayers. Always have been. Maurer means “bricklayer” in German, fyi Twins fans.

From Apprentice to Master. From one tax bracket to another. From a job site to the unemployment office. From the ground floor to the penthouse. These calluses are a part of my handshake deal with humanity.

2 responses to “The Bricklayer’s Artist Statement”

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