Monument to the Unknown Artist, 2008, 8 x 10 in. c-print and a 16 x 20 in. frame.

While carrying out an artist residency in Leipzig, Germany, I came across on one of my walks, a peculiar pedestal for a sculpture or statue. Its form was pyramidal, its material red brick, and it was empty. For awhile I’d been turning over in my mind the idea of a monument dedicated to the unknown artist, so when for a second time I bumped into the structure,again by accident, I thought: “It’s a present.” It was an opportunity I couldn’t let pass me by. Is not the artist a kind of ideological soldier? The true artist not willing to give up life itself in order to transmit his thought and ideals? If this be so, why is it we don’t honor him as a hero? So it was that without further questioning I gave myself over to the work of constructing, with the materials I had on hand, a sculpture to pay homage to my forgotten soldier.
In those days, the grant money I received being very little, I was trying to work with materials I came across – or, more accurately, sought out – on my walks through the city. When I had gathered enough wood to erect a piece of dimensions proportionate to the pedestal, I built it, improvising the design in using the scraps of wood I had found. At the end I adorned it with a a bit of color along its surface.

One midday, nervous because we didn’t have permission from the city or the neighbors, the residency supervisors and I hoisted the sculpture to our shoulders and carried it the few blocks to where it could rest on its pedestal.