In my paintings of oil on wood, canvas, Plexi-glass and mylar, I investigate snapshots found in discarded photo albums.
The era of analog photo collecting in popular culture is mostly over. In my artwork I explore the color snapshot era of the last 30 years. I am interested in both the emotional connection to and cultural impact of photo collecting.
It is not my goal to copy the photos I find verbatim--but to impart, in artwork, my idea of what these discarded physical objects/artifacts represented to the original owner.
Seeking the truth of the past, not simply historical record, I look for hidden expressions of intimacy and human interactions between the figures in the photographs. My paintings obsessively record all of the small details—the touch of hands, a loving gaze. The collections of resulting paintings often evolve into large installations. Usually, I spend more than a year on each large painting project.
I counter the flatness and ephemeral quality of the original photographs, with a thick, visceral paint application. I impart a weight and physicality in depicting the persons in the lost photographs—restoring the presence of those forgotten.
Beginning with the discovery of caches of superficial snapshots, I finish with collections of paintings that redress history--a providing new perspective of the lives of forgotten people.
Another recent project is a multi-paneled painting installation and accompanying individual paintings referencing found snapshots of the New Orleans World Fair of 1984. This installation consists of panels of oil on plexi-glass--22 panels (12" x 18"each) displayed on a shelf--30 running feet. I found these particular snapshots at a thrift store. Growing up in Louisiana I was one of the 7 million attendees. The paintings of this series merge imagery from the found photos as well as my own memory of the fair. The fair was much anticipated by locals who thought the global event would elevate Louisiana’s cultural status. Since I attended this fair as a teen, the found snap shots had resonance for me. My painting installation examines the historical event-- both the glitzy and colorful surface of the 1984 World’s Fair; as well as exploring the underlying pathos of the Fair's eventual bankruptcy, These paintings are all oil and acrylic on plexiglass with reverse painting. The transparency of the painting surface relates to the photographic process of the source material-- creating both a dissolving quality and visual uncertainty ultimately referencing memory.
Other projects include:
My Fan Album Series-- Paintings of oil on canvas and mylar referencing a found fan album of an '80 Boy Band lovingly collected by a young girl. I was intrigued by both the painstakingly assembled album of more than 100 snapshots as well as the vibrant images of the young performers.
installation “Galactic 99” and the “Blue Screen Series.” These paintings and installation reference photos I found on the wall of a Miami pizzeria—shots of the workers after hours. \ In this series I investigate the role of the individual with in a group—studying how, in life, people come together randomly, interact and become close knit community.