I have worn a leg brace for almost as long as I have been alive. Early models were nickel plated steel and leather permanently affixed to my shoes. They were prone to rust and switching a pair of shoes was difficult and messy. Braces were replaced as I grew out of them or broke them. I began keeping the old ones, mainly for parts as they would break at the most inopportune moments like Friday afternoon after work. With no access to the repair shop I learned how to replace broken rivets and cut and shape pieces of scrap steel to replace broken components.
These pieces represent a dichotomy of emotions. On the one hand I view the brace as a barbaric device that inflicts physical and spiritual pain. Every single day of my life I strap it on and drag it around.
On the other hand, without it I would not be mobile. I have been given the gift of standing and walking. The pure joy of going fishing, walking and riding a bike outweighs the daily routine of strapping steel, leather and carbon fiber to a mostly unresponsive limb.
Pleasure/Pain Syndrome illustrates the wear and tear the of these painful devices as well as a certain beauty achieved with various metals manipulated with hammers and torches. Copper in particular is malleable and expressive; in these cases mimicking the flexible nature of leather straps. Hammered, it also mimics the texture of skin.
Pain/Pleasure Syndrome #3, 2016, copper, stainless steel, Carbon fiber 31" x 11" x 13"
Pain/Pleasure Syndrome #2, 2015 Copper, stainless steel, carbon fiber, 31" x 11" x 13 "
Collection of Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation, New York
Pain/Pleasure Syndrome #1, 2015 Wood, Stainless Steel,
31"x 11" x 13"