Assemblage art often provokes and challenges viewers by blurring the lines between art and object. How we construct something—and for what purpose—informs the way in which we appreciate it. In assemblage art, meaning is found through the selection and combination of items, and through the use of space and form to create new contextual meaning. Functional objects are composed to bestow a personal narrative.
Walz’ work, in homage to the assemblage art of the early 20th-century, takes the intentional grouping of three-dimensional objects and interacts with the viewer in the gallery space. This creates a confrontation among the art, the viewer(s), and the ideas and imagery surrounding them—on the artist’s terms. The objects and artifacts materialize through their assembly and the artist’s vision to take on new purpose and meaning: visually, stylistically and thematically.
Walz was inspired to pursue his passion as an artist following a combat related injury that resulted nearly a month-long coma and six months of rehabilitation. Walz took to art as a form of introspection and to “speak to myself to see what was really inside of me.” Walz examines history, nostalgia, war, military culture, and his own personal identity. He delves into the trials and tribulations of his experience as a decorated Vietnam veteran. Through his unique assemblage sculptures, Walz did not just build passive art objects, but a dialogue addressing his experience, current veterans, and combat inspired art. It is up to us to continue that dialogue.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website