Roadside Plant, 2020
collage, acrylic, oil, and wax on canvas
39.5 x 39.5 in. (framed)
Courtesy the artist.
I start with paper. I cut it directly from old books. I cut up my prints. I use the scraps left from the painting before. I paste it all on canvas, wood, or thicker pieces of paper to create fields of information. Then I work back into these initial backgrounds with paint, and more collage. Eventually, imagined landscapes emerge from the chaos. Worlds built from remnants. The boundaries between natural and urban environments fragment and blur.
Trial and error are important to my process. Re-contextualizing fragments can be a struggle. Scraps are, on some level, always scraps. I integrate them into the painting, yet something remains of their past lives. They speak of pictures other than mine. I like having this other voice in my paintings. It reveals unanticipated questions and leads me in new directions. My work is as much a product of discoveries made while making it, as it is deliberate. It is more orchestrated than fully controlled.
Space is occupied. Be it physical, virtual, political, or visual, the spaces we inhabit and encounter have been staked out and quantified. What conscious and unconscious allegiances accompany these occupations? What of my perception has been prescribed? Do I accept history as it is told to me? Does the world, as it appears in pictures, reflect the reality before my eyes? In my painting process, I reimagine the territories I encounter by cutting them up and reassembling them. In doing so, I find answers to these questions. I weigh myth against reality. I put the world that I have found up against the world as it is written.
I feel a responsibility to produce art that questions the socio-political mainstreams of our society. I believe in the ability of visual arts to confront the myths I see depicted by popular culture. I want to create artwork that celebrates the legacies of a different set of heroes and rewrites history from the margins. In my work, I address a multitude of issues—some political in nature, while others are more conceptual and abstract. But throughout all of my work, it is my hope that I convey a pervading sense of joy. Where there is joy, there is hope.
Height: 39.50 in
Width: 39.50 in