2011- City Middle
When I create a new body of work I challenge myself to slightly alter my conceptual framework, which is based on one's relationship to a place. Each body of work in my portfolio has dealt with a different concept such as the act of traveling, contrasting urban vs. rural landscapes, and exploring local economies. This new work's visual vocabulary comes from Milwaukee's "city middle." The majority of works, focus on following the trajectory of one street, from my neighborhood to where it terminates at the lakefront. Other works like "City of Steeples" and "Ma Bells of Milwaukee" are limited to representing one defining feature of our location, such as churches or telephone poles.
My work formally focuses on the relationship between the organic and the mechanical. This is conveyed through my artistic process by merging the uncontrolled manner of throwing paint on a surface with the precise movements of drafting and drawing. My imagery speaks to this by vacillating between the natural, such as the body, cloud cover and foliage, and the structural, such as architecture, overpasses and utility poles.
Many of the works are a conglomeration of interiors and exteriors from gathering places in Milwaukee and the Midwest. The traditional uses of Western perspective systems melded with the Eastern tradition of "stacking" space suggest the mysterious, almost religious, bonds that are formed to our physical surroundings. The work's illustrative quality is used to build a narrative that describes how one might form a history to a certain locale.
The work is proclaiming the ordinary as extraordinary. It is articulating the idea that common events, like sharing a meal, meeting friends for a drink, or going to church serve as a way for us to form and preserve an identity as a collective. It is created with the hope that it would stimulate a conversation about the sanctity of knowing one's neighbor, the importance of locality and the elevation of the commonplace to the remarkable.