“Hey, that’s funny!” is one of the more common responses that I get from my work. Perhaps it’s because of the 25 years I worked at the Jim Henson Company. My mixed-media pieces are permeated by a mildly twisted sensibility.

It’s all in the training. Working at Henson’s Muppet Workshop required skills in soft materials: fabric, foam rubber, plastics, spray paint, adhesives, and other related materials that you might not expect to find in the fine arts. But more importantly, theatricality and a strong sense of humor were essential. Even when the art of puppetry is taken seriously, there needs to be some wit.

I can’t get away from my Italian roots — Bernini, Fra Angelico, Donatello — they ground me. But I’m often drawn toward the ironic, the incongruous, and the grandiose. I am most inspired by Marisol, Ed Kienholz, Jeff Koons, and Matthew Barney.