oil, ball point pen and resin on panel.
ball point pen and resin on panel.
In the most general sense, my work is about landscape. I grew up with the desert southwest as a backdrop and was visually taken by its sculpted topography; how the layered strata of the rock formations came to be exposed by erosion from wind and water, and how the incremental and chaotic effects of time and climate could conspire to create something more orderly than I could with my hands. My first drawings were tracings from road atlases that I collaged into fantasy political maps with fictionalized places. The maps thus began to function (though I didn’t see it in these terms at the time) metaphorically as well as spatially, as traces of passing time as well as unfolding space. Likewise, I saw the sandstone towers in the desert as maps of time, recording millions of years of wind erosion that just happened to look like modern art. Since, my art has resumed a focus on mapping and landscape, reflecting the dueling relationships between the natural and the man-made, the temporal and spatial and the objective and the subjective. Like the stratified rock on the Navajo reservation, where I spent much of my childhood, the forms in my work are often analogs to the methods of their creation. They take root in the physical properties inherent within specific, mundane materials such as Elmer’s glue, correction fluid, ballpoint pen ink and resin, whose limits are stretched by subjecting them to non-traditional applications, generating structures whose complexity belies the elegance of their creation. This process reflects the physical forces that are constantly working to fashion and sculpt the natural landscape, and, by bracketing these forms with hand-rendered and conventionalized images, I hope to evoke the duality between the actual and the artificial as it is conveyed through idealized representations of order and beauty.