"Like odd dream-like artifacts, his pieces create a highly accurate reproduction
When something is believable it becomes somehow real, no matter how improbable. At first glance these works appear to be actual bark, but upon further examination one can see they are, in fact, intricate constructs of paint, paper, burlap, pencil, and sawdust that, via scale change and invention, explore surface tension, detail, structure, scale, and pattern in frisson-inducing detail. They are not scientific investigations but rather greatly exaggerated composite portraits, informed by observation of New York City street trees, a very accessible and immediate subject, that reflect a deep fascination with pre-nineteenth century hand colored natural history books, and my surroundings. They belong to the built environment.
The smaller works, from the series "Skin Conditions" and "Sylvan Natural History of New York", respectively, are part of a growing vocabulary that evokes displays of early anatomical wax models. These works are as much dimensional drawing as painting or sculpture, and are inspired by an exhaustive series of hand colored books titled the “Natural History of New York”, a thirty volume, fifty two year attempt to depict all things flora and fauna in the state of New York, started in 1842.
The larger works, human scaled and titled “Parade Shields”, are built on articulated box springs, singles and doubles, and relate to the wall like blown up sylvan potato chips. The title refers to ceremonial objects from the 15th and 16th centuries, like Andrea del Castagno’s shield “David with the Head of Goliath”, that were carried in pageants, civic processions, and spectacles.
Website designed by Joanna Ebenstein; 2012.