I use common household materials, surfaces and objects along with raw, natural objects to create drawings, paintings, reliefs, sculptures and installations. My work nurtures home materials to embody our stress, conflict, hope and fear. Current themes of flooding, water, melting and overflow are derived from my New Orleans childhood along with current events.
I’m influenced by arte povera and artists like Jannis Kounellis. The movement’s use of raw, unsophisticated urban materials and visceral natural objects for symbolic, socio-political and associative narratives is exciting, pertinent & poetic. In my work I keep the materials that I use pure and unmanufactured, while formally presenting it, sculpting it or “shaping” it to create conflicts between the real and the symbolic. In these conflicts dialogue occurs, the imagination is triggered and my mixed media art can revel as visual poetry.
Through sculpted form and imagery I transform common textures into something mysterious and expressive. I sculpt thematic organic shapes and images giving the materials a second life, one that enables a viewer to consider the exotic in the everyday and to converse with their surroundings. Bathroom tile frequently acts as the main character in my art narrative. The tile can play as rough seas, smoke, soap bubbles, puddled water or extensions of the body. I think of the work playfully as the ‘tiles revenge’, getting a chance to act out, rather than being acted upon. The tiles ease in playing as something organic, figurative and warm is key to my designs and it is this versatility that allows me to transform this medium into something reverent or foreboding, clean or dirty, dark or pure.
Using distressed wallpaper or oyster shells conveys my reverence for the past, idolizing aging cities and homes, or disturbed reefs and beds and act as a warning, tracing the residue of our consumption. The distressed wallpaper describes a past that “clings to us,” as Grace King might say. Drains, soffits and other fixtures activate the material tangibility of the household surfaces by highlighting functionality, while adding layers of symbolism. The sculpture or painting can literally drain or rinse away dirt and sins or vent the form allowing it to breath. The drain plugs attempt to stop the flow as a form of salvation, while the chains attempt to bond with others; a communal attempt to fix what we have broken.
What if our houses and its contents told our story? What would our house and stuff say about us? My work attempts to be “a piece of property of which time cannot deprive us.” In doing so, I strive to make work that “we do not cling to, it clings to us.”