Over the past few years, I have been creating paintings drawn from an imaginary world peripheral to ours where basic ideas of permanence and vitality are redefined. While many of my paintings are tongue-in-cheek or mischievous, they express my interest in an anachronistic half-reality apart from our time and eyeshot.
In my current series “Store Facades”, I am reimagining small-town American business districts. This series has been focusing on the dust, decay and dereliction found nationwide, especially in the suburban rust-belt towns where I’ve often lived. Many of these ex-downtowns are charismatic and largely forgotten. The residual evidence of their past can be seen in the way time has fused the new with the old; where we find repurposed stores, mismatched signage, and chips of paint several layers thick. Individual stores in a block have been built, destroyed, and given new facades; now we are left with ghost towns of incongruous buildings and vacant lots. The past may be visible and tangible, yet it is inescapably gone.
With my paintings, I try to reintroduce vitality back into these places by introducing larger-than-life elements such as collage, fluorescence, and glowing signage. My figures (often whole or partial mannequins) resemble humans, yet like the painted towns themselves do not quite reflect normal humanity. I allude to the superimposed elements of time through vintage ephemera, transient space, and layered paint. In reimagining the towns’ decay into places of overstated glitz, I have added gold, fluorescence, and a flash of life back into the rack and ruin. My paintings will fade over time - my faux gold leaf will tarnish and my fluorescent paint will lose its luster, much like the places I am portraying.