Featured Artist of the Week - Maskull Lasserre

Bare Bones - An Interview with Maskull Lasserre

Joseph Kendrick - Why do you prefer sculpture as your primary form of expression?

Maskull Lsserre - Its a difficult question.  I was born into a life of making things. I never decided to do what I do - my output has always just been the natural byproduct of living and thinking. I am so fortunate that it has evolved into something I can share with others, but it is still to close to me to talk about abstractly as a preferred means of expression; its just what I am.

JK - Is there something intrinsic to the act of carving that draws you do it?

ML - There is an intrinsic honesty and humility to the carving process. There is no magic, no hidden technology or trick, just the simple subtraction of what was already there. This humble quality makes the amazing alchemy that carving can achieve so much more interesting.

JK - Is there a material or object that you you’ve never worked with that you’d like to someday?

ML - It always amazes me how objects enter my orbit, stay for a while and find themselves ways into my work, then leave as mysteriously as they came.  Vices, pianos, safes, have all done this. Now there is something on my horizon that looks suspiciously like a forklift.

JK - Do you enjoy giving new life to old objects?

ML - Very much. At first my interventions are sometimes seen as distractive to an object’s use or value, but I see my work as reclaiming other potentials that were previously hidden and unappreciated.

JK - In your work, you often depict skeletons of many different animals, including humans,(Self Doubt (Macaque), Lexicon, Secret Carpentry, etc.) that allude to death and decay. Why do these topics interests you?

ML - Like the physical materials I use, and the processes I apply, there is something categorical about death/mortality. The aspect of it that I try to coax out is that death is a potent sign of life - albeit an ended one. To carve skeletons into inanimate objects infers their past - and maybe even future  - potential for life.

JK - On your website you feature several of your drawings. Do you use drawing as a way to plan your sculptures or do you prefer them as stand alone works?

ML - I am very cautious of plans in general. I try to cultivate an awareness to what is immediately in front of me rather than trying to impose some premeditated idea.  I struggle with drawing, ironically, because it comes quite easily to me. I enjoy having something to grapple with and struggle against. My drawings are often of things I could not sculpt, so I think of them as stand alone works, though less as drawings than as sculptures made of paper and dirt.

JK - In several of your works, Perfection as a Unit of Distance, Coriolis, Sonata Blade, and others, you incorporate the use of musical instruments. Do you have any experience playing music? What music do you enjoy? What meaning do you draw from it? Discuss.

ML - I played the violin for 14 years. Music is definitely one of my greatest influences. My sensibility, how I perceive and interact with the world is greatly affected by my years of playing.  Music sets a president for communication through technical excellence without the technique being mistaken for the subject of the communication.

You can find out more of Maskull Lasserre’s work at his website: http://maskulllasserre.com

Interview and post by: Joseph Kendrick