Artist Talk: Kyle Timberman, 2020 MFA

Kyle Timberman // Easton, Pennsylvania
B. A. (2017) Millersville University, Millersville, Pennsylvania

Meet Kyle Timberman, a sculptor and collector of human stories. In the tales of life, we first meet ourselves and then we meet others. Collectively, we comprise a range of characteristics and emotional typologies. Timberman is interested in investigating individual and especially shared aspects of the human psyche and human experience. His sculptures are sensitive, wobbly and precariously balanced psychological portraits. Meeting Timberman’s sculptures is like meeting rickety, dense, layered ideas with a vague anthropomorphic bearing. They are dynamic, awkward and rife with stuff teetering between fragility and strength, or demise and presence. Timberman is no minimalist; the sculptures are physically and metaphorically loaded. The artist states “My artwork is cluttered and chaotic…it is not serene. It is almost always about what can be added, rarely about what can be eliminated…Where one material meets a second, I add a third, and where the third material meets a fourth, I add a fifth and so on.”

For Battin’ A Hundred, Kyle Timberman created three larger than life-size sculptures; Woozy Wastrel, Abomination Machine No. 2, and Compunction. Looking from one sculpture to the next, one could imagine the pile of skewed ladders, the skeleton of a warped gramophone, and metal lines drawn in space depicting a fleeting ghost or dancing memory. Rather than using high-tech materials, Timberman thoughtfully chooses materials that are reformed, weathered and worn. Like Jason Rhoades (a favorite artist) Timberman creates large-scale, chaotic artwork that is filled with accumulations of found, altered and handmade objects. The objects are packed together and stacked like excavated ruins that reveal civilizations and lives lived. But unlike Rhoades, who often provokes, Timberman’s sculptures beckon encounters of being. Viewers bump up against attributes and contradictions that are inherent in the act of living, such as self-preservation and anxiety, or stability and instability. Timberman’s installation is like a sculptural version of the film Being John Malkovich. In the movie, a puppeteer enters a portal into Malkovich’s mind where he is forced to reckon with his own powers and his existence. Timberman’s sculptures echo the cacophony of our collective psyche. He offers viewers a gateway into the constructs of the mind, and the elaborate psychological scaffolding we humans erect to preserve ourselves from the perils of life.

Some fun facts about Kyle Timberman: He is a semi-professional cook and enjoys grilling, preparing seafood and Asian style cuisine. In his free time, he whittles, attends stand-up comedy shows, and collects clown paintings.

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