When I started putting photos in my paintings, I chose unpeopled vistas; then I began layering in the stuff of everyday photo albums. The buried visuals create a layer of interdependent notes: a snapshot may remain visible or be absorbed—the overarching composition trumps individual facets.
The “Mutable Garden” series uses snapshots and mixed media to envision hybrids of flora, fauna, and detritus: abandoned cars as fertile bulbs, furred paws emerging from petals, trees rooted in garden statues—a collusion of leaf, claw, and junk.
The series “The Corpses” originated when poet Ian Ganassi and I began a collaboration by mail, adding text and visuals until one of us called a page finished. Found objects, drawings, ads, photos, fabric, and poems are married to paint, ink, crayon, and pencil and attached with glue, staples, tape, and string in an intuitive process—the anti-Photoshop. The series currently numbers nearly 200 pieces.
I studied at Douglass College, Rutgers University, with the Fluxus artist Robert Watts, among others, and at Goddard College, in Vermont, with the painter Anne Tabachnik, and I’ve come to realize that my work has evolved in part to mix elements representative of these artists: a painterly eye and hand combined with the Fluxus spirit of spontaneity and an aesthetic that includes working with materials at hand, collaboration, and creating new combinations with mixed media. For me, one of the most compelling features of collage is bringing back into the studio pieces of the world.
Other projects range from a commission for Local 2110 to create an installation commemorating a decade of union organizing to creating paintings for director Ang Lee’s film The Wedding Banquet. My paintings, collages, and drawings have been shown in NYC, Chicago, Berlin, and elsewhere, and I have been an artist-in-residence at the Millay Colony for the Arts.