Ted von Heiland Jr. – Artist Statement
My artwork takes a critical view of my emotional and personal journey involving the loss of my sister, themes of love, the ability to cope and my own mortality as a disabled veteran. In my work, I deconstruct and reconstruct these themes and ideas by using bio-mechanical and religious symbolism to investigate the concepts of resurrection, rebirth, mortality and my own identity issues as a person of Filipino and German descent.
I combine these themes with mixed media sculptures or paintings using the human figure as a focal point. Often times, the human figure is fragmented and infused with technological elements to convey the mechanization of humanity. I incorporate a variety of organic and inorganic material into the background of my work juxtaposing dark sci-fi elements with whimsical, natural and emotional gestures stressing innately human traits. My stylistic influence stems from a variety of sources such as cinema, music videos, religious symbolism and iconography, current global events, and mankind’s long-time obsession with war and post-apocalyptic themes. My emphasis will always be on the human element, regardless of how disfigured or intrusive the technological elements become in each piece of artwork I create.
While I incorporate a variety of materials in each of my projects, my methodology and process is very consistent both thematically and stylistically. I often work on several pieces at a time and first consider the overall theme or emotion I wish to convey. I like to keep the narratives in my work as personal as possible. This, after all, is what drives me as an artist and my search to continue asking the questions: Can we bring people back? Can we relive these moments that have brought us both joy and heartache? Will technology allow us to accomplish these things? Will religion? Do we have the potential to one day live immortal or are these ideals and ideas forever fleeting?