I’ve been working on a series of paintings and prints, for a couple of years, now, loosely based on those lurid news photos that run next to daily headlines of urban and natural disasters. The pictures running next to daily tales of war and weather are glorious, profound, and often far beyond comprehension- sublime in the classical sense of the word. Online news articles are often accompanied by entire slide shows of photos capturing the drama and dynamism of the disaster and the surprising and unplanned landscape that is the deconstructed physical manifest of these events. The activity of collecting and sorting stacks of these gathered pictures is a way of mapping my relationship to my landscape. My system imparts order to the mayhem. There is comfort in the rhizome of connections that emerges. Pattern, shape, color, and event overlap and repeat in a complex web charting the ebb and flow of civilization vs. nature.
I work directly from groupings of saved and categorized photos. My hybrid landscapes chart loose and abstracted scenes of construction, destruction and that certain suspended chaos that often accompanies the two. My work decontextualizes the action from any specific urban disaster, instead drawing from the connections and repetitions I discover in the process of organizing the headline photos. Taken out of context, there is a raw allure and mystery- a beauty, even- in these source images that transcends the specific incident they’re connected to, or that even is unrelated to the event (David B. Smith Gallery).