Salakamerica and other recent paintings
watercolor, tea, graphite and gouache
The embodiment of the sensation of being on a globe is a recurrent theme in my art practice. In this series of paintings and drawings, a red fatigued sun bares down on stressed landscapes of desert, rising waters, white tents, bandages and utopian cities of the past, present or the future, sites known by many names: a Dante’s paradiso, the lost city of Atlantis, Califas, Occupy, a Socialist artist’s commune somewhere in Columbia or perhaps Salakamerica, the location that my children traveled to and enacted in their imaginary games …
To speak of global embodiment:
when we drive into the sunset or the horizon and we do not fall off a flat earth, we have a glimmer of our planetary placement; but global embodiment, at this moment, requires time travel. Our current condition of teetering ecologic disaster destabilizes our location in time, imagination and geography. We attempt to simultaneously hold memories of intact structures: both present and future disaster and possibility: and awe of what exists still. In California current extremes of weather eradicate ideas of stability—we are in a soup of fire, flood, changing agriculture systems; bobcats are walking in cities; desertification looms while spring grasses are overhead. It is more than what we can hold logically and so symbology and poetics are our tickets for time travel.
My art practice has generally revolved around physical structures of sculpture, installation, social practice and creating art venues, from public venues to tents to storefronts. In some of these, such as MobileInTent, we traveled in packed trucks towards dusty horizons; in other projects the horizons have been more metaphorical. My practice has also included many globes, of wood, cement, clay, feathers, fabric, detritus. Lately my visual elements have traveled into a flat world of paint, tea, graphite, paper and painterly narrative, sometimes effortlessly (and sometimes totally elusively!). It seems useful to me now to release from the physics of what holds, or stands upright in sculpture and installation, and embrace the illogic narrative, flow with the paint