Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Seeing With My Mind's Eye

Like Swimming Horses, 2011, Drypoint and Chine-colle, 15 x 18-1/4"

Jane's Carousel, After Hurricane Sandy, New York,  October 2012

Untitled, 2010 - 2011, acrylic, ink and gouache on watercolor paper, 12 x 19"

House Floating at Sea, 2011, after the tsunami struck Japan

The first time I painted a house floating at Sea, I found it absurd. Although it was poetic, I thought to myself, "what are the odds that this could be possible, it would sink before anyone could have a moment to capture this image on camera or witness it first hand". Apparently, I was wrong. When I saw the photo online, of a house floating at sea after the tsunami hit Japan in 2011 I was not only amazed, but I was also in disbelief. By then, I had made several works of objects floating in the ocean. The ocean series I was working on at the time had come from a body of work in which I was working with maps. Cartography became an important element in the work because for me, it personified real-estate, imperialism and man's long lasting pursuit of new horizons, or a better life somewhere abroad. In other words, it was another element of the American Dream theme that has been a consistent part of my work. The ocean and objects floating at sea became symbolic of our relationship to the Earth and questioned the significance of our materialistic pursuits. Suddenly everything I ever wanted could be thrown in the ocean and the desire to pursue those things became absurd. I began to re-evaluate our relationship to nature and to question the importance of the things that we seek. 

When I saw the image of Jane's Carousel surrounded by water, I was speechless. I was positive when I had made the piece that the image I had created could never become a reality. Again, I was wrong. Although it is exciting to see that my work is not as surreal as people have claimed, it is also rather frightening. I promise not to make any work foreseeing an apocalypse.