Through painting and drawing I explore the physical and psychological effects of natural and man made disasters.  Following Hurricane Irene in the fall of 2011, I began studies of the storm’s effects on the Hackensack River Watershed, Bergen County, NJ, a site that has long been inspirational to me.  The watershed contains lush ecosystems that are under constant threat of development: the Hackensack and its post-flood landscape presented a microcosm of a state of devastation that exists on a much larger global scale.  My perceptual exploration of this event has evolved into drawn renderings of catastrophes of the mind.  The subject of disaster and its ruins becomes a metaphor for the anxiety of our economic and ecological decline. 
 
In my drawings plastic bags and shards of architecture meld, split apart, and evaporate into the atmosphere.  These clusters of inanimate form hint at a bodily, sexual charge.  Elements of the drawings are only suggested and appear in an almost state of being that implies virtual space or a dreamlike state of consciousness. 
 
Initially the space in my paintings based on Irene hinged on a single horizon line, but in the current drawings it fluctuates between deep space and flat.  Eliminating the horizon line allows for the disruption of a predictable visual order and hierarchy based on Renaissance illusionism.  Some areas of the drawings appear parallel to the picture plane while others recede, heightening confusion and instability visually echoing the condition of disaster.  I pair intuitively discovered imagery with predetermined structural geometries to suggest the measured and calculated versus the uncontainable.  Geometry creates spatial divisions and ruptures and allows for tiny pockets of imagery to crop up and accrue within images. 
 
The disorder present in my imagery is created through a controlled use of drafting pencils.  Tonal layers hint at the material of things, without describing their specific materiality – resulting in clouds and mountains being treated with the same touch.  The small-scale works invite close viewing that reveals miniature worlds, illuminating the connection between the microscopic and macroscopic.  Upon inspection what initially appears as a smudge of vapor consists of finely grouped discernable marks. 
 
Delicately rendered through this labor intensive process, the drawings become meditations on time and inner projections of an imagined future of ruin – personal, cultural, and ecological in scope.  In making this work I aim to create pieces that are at once formally complex, beautiful and fundamentally disturbing. 
 
 
 

Bibliography section article Bibliography Section Catalog Bibliography Section Web Link PDF icon small Sold Dot