"All of my work takes shape with love and care and takes issue with waste and disregard. I feel the work as a metaphor for transformation and transcendence. It insists that we change our ways and our thinking and become guardians of the resources of the earth which supports our life and is more fragile and endangered than we used to believe possible."
--Jo Hanson (1918 - 2007)
The issues of my artwork arise usually from experiences that are ongoing in my life, such as daily cleaning of my sidewalk and street since 1970, finding myself both energized and eroded by urban conditions.
An ocean of urban trash flows daily to my windy corner of San Francisco. Revelation blows in the wind: about the waste society, the careless or alienated urban dweller, environmentally thoughtless packaging and advertising, industry devoted to consuming without need.
Art in a variety of forms has emerged from street trash: conceptual work and documentation, collage, sculpture, installations concerning trash and its sources and disposition, a bus tour of illegal dumping, performance, etc. For several years I have used street-crushed metals for sculpture and collage.
In all this work I mean to raise environmental imperatives, but I also recognize the metaphor of transcendence - the alchemy of transmuting impersonal, often violent urban distortion into positive creative forms.
Because of its sources in everyday experiences, my work tends to be readily accessible to the non-art public as well as the art community.
Messages from the Street
The street testifies that the most consuming and wasting society on earth is throwing the earth away in careless bits and pieces, thoughtlessly and for "convenience" and profit.