As a society, we have come to recognize menace everywhere. It seems as if we have come to conceptualize our own nature through a perpetual state of unease and fear, or more accurately, through the ability to protect ourselves from whatever threat we perceive to be looming. Fear and its byproduct anxiety seem to be ever-present in ways that affect us like never before.
Automata/ Infection Series
These drawings and paintings are investigations and expressions of absurdity, where objectivity collides with the idiosyncratic. I am interested in destabilizing the terrifying and the dangerous, and in using process to distort realities into something entirely different, beautiful—and logically impossible.
Intrinsic to my practice is the active unravelling of associations between signifier and signified by the revealing, concealing, and distorting of visual elements. I begin with micrographs of systems that are invisible to the human eye, such as viruses, cancer cells, and other infective agents. I produce line drawings from these sources and then manipulate them digitally in Photoshop and Illustrator. These images are then projected onto a drawing or painting surface, where I trace and re-introduce my personal manner of mark-making into them.
At this point, the materials I use become important to process and idea. I play on the medical (as in “signs and symptoms”) and semiotic meanings of “sign,” and sometimes use black sign paint to marry material with concept. I also use vibrant color and indulgent mediums, such as pearlescent inks and metal leaf, to embellish and further remove any previous associations the original images have with disease and suffering.
These pieces become personal reflections on the meaning and significance of visual culture. My intention is to reinterpret and expand upon how we inhabit the images that populate our contemporary world.
In Precautionary Measures, individuals wear protective clothing in an environment that contains no discernable hazard. I incorporate cut-out or gold leaf floral shapes of plants that have varying degrees of toxicity to humans. Victorian artists used many of these as symbols of impending doom, but here in this grey space danger manifests in an unrealized form. Flowers in this context signal possibilities, not inevitabilities. The figures seem hyper-vigilant in their preparedness in this context—donning PPE’s, medical masks, space suits and other shielding garments. Compositionaly, they occupy the middle of the paper and allude to certain characters from absurdist theatre who have an obsessive need to always return to center stage. They seem to exist frozen in an unceasing state of readiness for perils that many never come. In the end, they are isolated and alone; away from the true comfort that the presence of others can offer.