artist statement

I create as a means to document, for me the work is a chronicle, evidence of people and places having existed. In recent assemblage paintings I use acrylic paint, photo transfers, and found objects to create a kind of archival collection. Landscapes are layered with faces, figures, maps, and simple architectural structures. In some pieces portraits become the background, or the ground itself. Playing with these relationships allows me to manipulate the sense of time, and to question and consider the human response to living spaces and natural landscape.

I am interested in our subconscious tendency to assign meaning to objects. According to the “law of magical contagion,” the value of an object comes from who owned it or used it, and carries its history with it. This concept was first described by James George Frazer in “The Golden Bough”. Anthropologists have noted that contagion explains centuries-old beliefs in things like voodoo dolls and the sacredness of religious artifacts.

I am also interested in the object as artifact and am influenced by the clean, orderly approach of Joseph Cornell and what I see as a scientific aesthetic, combined with the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi; beauty that is imperfect, incomplete, and transient. Opposition and contrast underlie much of the work: inside/outside, past/future, home/travel, and painting/artifact. Detailed miniatures coexist within large pieces. Boxes, drawers, frames, and houses reappear as symbolic objects with competing interior and exterior spaces. The idyllic notion of home and an idealized image of a house contrast the complexity of daily living. The House is sometimes metaphor for the body or used as a marker, like a flag staking a claim. Within these juxtapositions, maps indicate past passages and future routes, and the contents of boxes and bottles give clues to a more specific personal experience.