"I didn't choose the steam iron, the steam iron chose me. My relationship with it began in 1988 when I spotted one on the street near my Newark studio, all flattened and discarded, looking up at me. Right away I saw it as an African mask, more specifically a Dan mask. And without a second thought, I brought it into my studio, photographed it, and made a list of all the things it suggested to me.
It was like what I call "jumping tracks," which might be defined as a kind of physical and meditative word-association game in which one remains open to all suggestions sparked by the physicality and the history of an object itself, rather than words. What results, when filtered through one's own self awareness, is a timeless visual outcome that both triggers memory and confounds perception.
Untangling and understanding the physicality of the iron eventually led to seeking a way to express the spirituality of the iron as well. Spiritually, as I defined it then, was the unseen life force that gives expression to all things. And in the case of the iron, that life force was heat, and the evidence of that heat was the scorch."