Urban Excerpts Statement
I am an avid quotationist. For me, the city is an endlessly satisfying visual narrative filled with an array of readymade passages and compositions waiting to be discovered, captured and appropriated into my work. Just as a poignant quotation from a book sometimes demands that it be noted down and integrated more deeply into the fabric of one’s mind, certain visual fragments of the world around me insist they be excerpted and woven into the art that I make.
Coming from a family of fine artists, I began as a traditional painter. However, I’m a bit impatient and distractable by nature, so I was allured by photography’s elegance and speed. Using my various cameras as a sort of optical notebook, I can capture and the colors, lines and forms that I want to integrate into my compositions without having to wrestle with paint and brushes. The various layers in my work abstract and merge the individual images, creating a marriage of the elements and giving them a larger and more dynamic life than they would have standing on their own. The painterly quality I desire in my work, which involves the human touch and and the element of fortunate accidents, is achieved thanks to the manual, photographic transfer techniques that I employ.
Many long afternoons I’ve spent poring over the urban landscape, seeking hidden moments of beauty that often occur in unexpected and overlooked places. Sometimes they are found in the layers of lines left behind by street artists, in patches of rust or chipping paint, or in the detritus of weathered signage. I think that part of what captures my attention about such snippets of urban decay lies in the way they serve as reminders of the ceaseless encounter between human efforts to order reality and nature’s perpetual pull toward flux and entropy. I suppose we often overlook decay and weathering because they remind us of death and our own eventual return to dust. I prefer to see such signs of impermanence not as grim reminders that we will cease to be, but as windows into transformative awareness of the fact that we, surprisingly and inexplicably, exist at all.
Meditation, simply put, is a process whereby we can intimately encounter the world, ourselves and Reality. As it is. The ‘meditation’ referred to in ‘visual mediations on the overlooked,’ is a fourfold contemplative process involved in creating these works. The first stage is cultivating heightened awareness when walking about to be able to see patterns emerge. Second is mindfulness of the interplay of color, form and content during postprocessing and image selection. Third, the repetitive actions involved in printmaking provide time and space for reflection. Lastly, the process of titling the works invovles being very present with the finished work in order to find words that will resonate with it. A fifth, subsequent meditative aspect of these works is that they call the viewers to quietly consider and encounter them as yet another facet of the story of this world.