Living in the largest city in the United States, it’s no wonder I have buildings on the brain. Yet beyond my experiences amid the eccentric urban planning of the Bronx, Brooklyn’s broad diversity and Manhattan’s concrete canyons, the figure of the house has taken on a deeper significance in my work; as a teaching artist, I’ve noticed the omnipresence of the traditional square and triangle icon to designate home, seeing it in use all over the world, from my hometown in upstate New York to Port Elizabeth, Caserta and Brownsville. These factors, combined with an already-acute interest in the concept of home, have resulted in a body of work focused on houses as a recurrent symbol, used to evoke places both real and imagined. In my drawings I use the repetition of a single house - emblematic in some cases, drawn in specific detail in others - to create designs based upon a personal organizational structure. By using repetition in this way, I am able to create work which has a multifaceted sense of meaning and perception, creating playful associations within a map’s rigid lines, changing dramatically whether viewed up close or from a distance. Inspired by the controlled, methodical consistency of Minimalism, this body of work nonetheless proclaims that more is more, as the simple icon of a single house grows into a village, a sloping valley, a cluster of bees, a hole in the ground, a tall mountain, or a roaring gust of wind.
I am currently developing three bodies of work simultaneously. In the Reliquary/Relics series, a set of mixed-media artworks focused on the subjective nature of maps, I utilize repetition, collage and the traditional triangle/square icon as a shorthand symbol of home. Here I have sought to reinterpret the supposedly neutral spaces present in the maps, bringing out dormant concepts buried within them, drawing on impressions of place and memory. The Eternal Return series explores layering and space with specific houses draw into fluid new sequences and shapes. In this series I seek to release these structures from the strict, ordered grids within which they are normally immured, exploiting the sameness inherent to these identical structures to help them break free from their status as flat, everyday landscapes, unleashing the unique beauty contained inside each and every home. In Dwelling, my newest project, I’m working digitally with found vintage images, incorporating those images into jarring new contexts that emphasize their familiarity while twisting it to discomfiting new ends. My goal is to take pictures of various origins, eras and places, and reorient their meanings by placing them together in spare, collage-like settings which accentuate negative space, creating surreal new worlds that make the images look as though they have always belonged together. In doing so, I continue to pursue the same goals as the previous two series, startling viewers into taking a closer look at both the work itself, and the formerly familiar elements of which it is composed.