Jay Rogers

Artist Statement

I have been making boxes and sculptural containers since I was a teenager. My first pieces were puzzle boxes where the inspiration was to try to make psychological portraits of their destined owners. I became a full-time artist/box maker in 1985, and in the decades since then have drawn inspiration for my pieces from many sources, including mineral formations, modern sculpture, psychology, the human form, and folded paper, as well as more abstract visual explorations.

A parallel interest in architecture eventually worked its way into my artwork several years ago when I began an exploration of the buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright, and other iconic twentieth century buildings. As my bent has always been towards the psychological and metaphorical, I drifted towards the imaginary architecture of G.B.Piranesi and M.C.Escher, and then on to my own fantasy architecture.

In all my bigger architectural work I try to draw the viewer into a world where a sense of scale is lost. In each sculpture box I seek to intensify a specific aspect or emotional quality of the architecture. I’m interested in exploring the dualities of light versus dark and of exterior versus interior, of hidden versus exposed and of openness versus containment. Mostly I’m fascinated with how different spaces have different emotional, even visceral feels, and I try to manipulate forms, materials, and light to create an emotional response beyond the initial sense of curiosity.

I place myself in the long tradition of craftsmen of secret places. It is important to me that my sculptures be boxes, and that this is part of the curiosity and interest they attract. I feel that as humans we instinctively respond to containers, as we ourselves are containers for the soul, and that to know that something has an inside, and that some special thing might be contained there, is more than a pleasing conceit.