Artist Statements
‘Collections’ is a series of paintings which take as their subject matter sets of objects accumulated and cherished by particular individuals. With this series, I want to explore passion, and the objects that have meaning in a person’s life. I track down collectors, and document their collections utilizing studio photography techniques. While photographing, I hear first-hand the history of the collection, listen to stories associated with certain objects; discover what matters to this person, their taste, their values, and their favorite things. Then, with the photographs as reference, I paint the objects isolated and spread evenly across a white background.

As a collection, obviously, the objects in each painting relate to one another. They share colors, shapes, materials and exhibit variations of common features. This series is a departure, or counterpoint to past series of mine which celebrated what nobody cared about. Here, I examine possessions that are bestowed intense personal value by an individual.

‘Discard Piles’ is a series of paintings which take as their subject matter piles of bulky trash set out on curbs for city collection and disposal. These found assemblages only exist for one day; put out on Sundays, and hauled away on Mondays. I spend my Sundays driving through unfamiliar neighborhoods, photographing the once private, now publicly expended possessions of strangers. From those photographs, I studiously paint select piles isolated against clean, white backgrounds. Individually, every pile is a unique glob of colors, shapes, and textures; organized or disorganized based on the unknowable whims or personality of their former owner. When viewed as a series, the piles present anthropological findings. Patterns emerge, with certain objects undeniably common: cheap plastic toddler toys, rotting lumber, leaky garden hoses, mattresses, stained rugs, and unsalvageable furniture. Other objects are noticeably absent: appliances, grills, lawn mowers; essentially anything with a motor or made of metal. On collection days, I see these absent objects stacked high, skating past in a flurry of rattling trailers towed by distressed pickups. Fundamentally, my work, and this series in particular, is concerned with impermanence and the careful examination of places and possessions exhausted of their value.

I explore derelict buildings, photograph them, and then create paintings base on those photographs. I’m attracted to the dense, busy aesthetic of these environments. They are filled with objects and surfaces that have been fractured and rearranged through natural forces and acts of vandalism. As a painter, this collision and assortment of surfaces provides a rich framework for me to sharpen and evolve my visual language.

I pilgrimage to these places as someone who grew up in the relatively sterile world of the suburbs. I report back with paintings that serve to elevate the subject matter and provide the viewer a chance to discover a fresh aesthetic appreciation for derelict buildings.