My work has always been driven by an interest in Place, and how Place can serve as a repository for emotional content. To quote Heidegger's essay, 'World of a Work':
"To be a work means to set up a world. But what is it to be a world?....The world is not the mere collection of the countable or uncountable, familiar and unfamiliar things that are just there. But neither is it a merely imagined framework added by our representation to the sum of such given things. The world worlds, and is more fully in being than the tangible and perceptible realm in which we believe ourself to be at home. World is never an object that stands before us and can be seen. World is the ever-nonobjective to which we are subject as long as the path of birth and death, blessing and curse keep us transported into Being. Wherever those decisions of our history that relate to our very being are made, are taken up and abandoned by us, go unrecognized and are rediscovered by new inquiry, there the world worlds."
With this series, before I would begin an art piece, I went on walks where I would take hundreds of photos, seemingly from the hip. After these were developed, I would select a small handful that seem to somehow, intuitively, capture Place. These were collaged and transferred onto paper, the paper was bent and folded alongside being painted, drawn upon, and sometimes cut. The process was a responsive one--a mark could cause me to rethink the shape, a detail of the photo would be treasured and preserved, only to be painted over in the end. I was looking for the moment where the painting felt 'right'. Where it seemed to come into being "more fully..than the tangible and perceptible realm in which we believe ourself to be at home."
May 2014. Aprox. 11x6x5", photo transfer, hand-made paper, acrylic, pen and ink
Untitled, side view
January 2014. 26x7x6", Paper, photo transfer, acrylic, pen and ink
February 2014. 6.5x9x3.5", Home-made paper, photo-transfer, acrylic, pen and ink
February 2014. 22x9.5x3.5", Handmade paper, photo transfer, acrylic, pen and ink
Black Ice, detail
December 2013. 19x26x6", Home-made paper, photo transfer, acrylic, pen and ink
Blue Nights, Side
Blue Nights, detail
Homemade paper with cotton paper pulp, acrylic, oil, sharpie, pen, india ink
A Series of Predictions II
A Series of Predictions II
Homemade paper with cotton paper pulp dyed with black pigments, linen pulp paint, varnish, acrylic, pencil, pen, sharpie, India ink.
60 x 48 1/2"
Homemade paper with cotton paper pulp, acrylic, oil, sharpie, pen, india ink, pencil, pastel
'Tower' is a mixture of historic and contemporary sources; in it, I was reflecting on current cultural and political anxiety and looking back through history to pull from image sources that reflected a conversant cultural tone, then combining them with contemporary images.
This portfolio is comprised of paintings from 2010-2012.
The following is an excerpt from my written thesis at SVA in 2011. You can read it in its entirety here.:
Art shows us ourselves outside of language. It taps into a collective store of beliefs, politics, and myths to offer a familiar yet bewildering blend of contemporary society. Each generation has its own cache of landscape art, and these landscapes carry the myths of the day, shifting meaning and emphasis with the passing generations. In the case of contemporary landscapes, we can access the collective and glimpse the current human condition. Landscape art presents its audience with the tensions and strains of contemporary culture. This is not necessarily isolated to one specific cultural problem. Rather, it is the reverberations of many problems re-presented as a singular piece.
In Camera Lucida, Roland Barthes offers a eulogy to his mother while simultaneously exploring the nature of photographs. He explores his memories of her through photographs, commenting that some photographs could be examined objectively while others contained a jolting essence distinctly her own. He coins three terms to deal with this chasm. ‘Studium’ is used to describe an image whose meaning can be summed up in a glance. By contrast, ‘punctum’ describes a moment, or detail, that can recall a vivid experience not easily defined in words. It is what the photograph is about beyond the ostensible subject. For Barthes, this represented something quite personal, and not necessarily accessible by the audience at large. And, finally, ‘noema’ refers to the roles of emotion and subjectivity in the experience of looking at photography.
If we broaden these terms a bit, we have a working vocabulary for discussing contemporary landscapes. The terms need to be able to refer to all artworks, and the ‘punctum’ and ‘noema’ need to be seen not as a personal but as a collective experience. The noema can embody a collective energy, and the punctum can deal with moments of perception, exploring visual signifiers and how they feed into a collective identity; a mark can embody the essence of a subject without ever describing the subject specifically. For example, a tree can be more ‘tree- like’ in a few expressive strokes than it ever can through careful rendering. How we identify the tree within the strokes and, further, attach a mood or experience to this collection of marks defines current culture.
Watercolor, egg tempera, india ink, pencil, and pen on paper.
Iowa II, detail
Watercolor, india ink, pencil, and pen on paper.
Iowa 1, Detail
Act of God
Landscape III (Acts of God)
Watercolor, india ink, and pencil on paper
Act of God, detail
Act of God, detail
Homemade paper with found paper fiber, pulped and dyed; acrylic, varnish, pen
"Climate is what you expect; weather is what you get." -Mark Twain
These photographs are from various series done from 2007-2010.
They are heavily manipulated; photographed during the day and manipulated in Photoshop, pulling heavily on outside media for the people and skies. They were shot in Portland, Or or Ann Arbor, MI.
At the Window
At the Window, detail
A Walk, detail
Evening Ride, detail
Summer Evening, detail
This collection is from a series called 'Osmosis' and is comprised of manipulated photographs from 2007.
My love of photography began by manipulating negatives with my father's old darkroom equipment, cramped into my family's small downstairs bathroom. In college, I began taking photos at night; loving how the shadows played a sort of hide-and-seek with details. My earlier images , were done with medium format film, with real (large and heavy) lights laboriously set up to capture movement and detail. But, I went to school right when analog was switching over to digital, so by the end of of my studies, I was happily shooting digitally and manipulating them quite heavily in Photoshop.
From Osmosis onwards, my 'negatives' were shot during the day, imported to Photoshop, and reduced down to a near black. I would then 'paint' the light back into them, and finally collage in elements such as sky and people. Osmosis was shot around Portland, Oregon and comprised my undergraduate thesis.