Immortality alludes to our notions of decay and permanence. It is a series of nine mixed media on wood panels. Each has an enigmatic shape that appears to be swarming with flies and undergoing decomposition. The materials I used are plastic, acrylic and oil paint on wood. I first attached clusters of fake but anatomically-correct flies with acrylic gel, then applied many layers of paint, allowing bits of the previous colors to show through. Although I find a sublime beauty in natural cycles of decay and regeneration, the title Immortality refers to the anti-nature of plastic, the hideously perfect fix for a culture that fears aging and death.
"To desire immortality is to desire the eternal perpetuation of a great mistake." — Arthur Schopenhauer
Transference explores odd imaginary combinations of plants and animals and suggests countless possibilities resulting from genetic manipulation and mutations. It consists of four mixed media on wood constructions, their exteriors painted in a cool blue-grey oil color. Each one has an ambiguous cut-out shape, its interior crawling with realistic life-sized plastic flies. The shapes question our beliefs about species identity and the accidents of nature. Modified organisms remain living things (albeit freakish ones) subject to decay and consumption by insects and other organisms. The container-like nature of the work suggests the manufacture of these creatures as marketable objects. There is intentional irony in the fact that the flies are plastic. Death, decomposition and transformation are part of the natural cycles of life. Perversely, plastic kills but never dies.
The Connectors B mixed media on wood panel constructions were meant to be paired with the Connectors A paintings (see Gallery 5; see also image #6, exhibition installation, here). The three wood constructions contain cut-out shapes, a gritty sand texture and chromatic black painted over vivid red or orange. When shown together with Connectors A, a compelling interplay emerges, with starkly contrasting color, surface treatment and materials.
Reliquary (for Familiar Objects) consists of twenty-seven dimensional wood panel constructions that resemble containers. This work explores the notion of inside vs. outside and the relationship between what is visible and what is remembered. The cut-out shapes reference forms found in nature as well as human made artifacts; in some cases they are a fusion of both. The top surfaces of the Reliquary containers are multi-layered with various colors. The final color is a light chromatic grey, but evidence of the previous colors remains, creating varied textures. The inside of each cut-out is black over-painted with transparent red. The twenty-seven objects themselves are absent. The darkened cavities merely trace the ghostly forms of an existence that has ceased to be.