I grew up drawing the ragged top edge of the Rocky Mountains, which from Denver, lie just to the west. I couldn’t resist that bluish grey middle layer stacked between shifting foregrounds and dynamic skies. It was always there for you. When I began to learn a bit more about natural systems, the stratigraphy that had become imprinted gained new meaning. Layered compositions came to express time, accumulation, dissolution, and return. I made hundreds of landscape cross sections depicting composition and decomposition, decay and reformation. Break down and re-composition are recurrent themes that play through everything I make. Every exploration becomes a search for strangely familiar adjacencies and unexpected recombinations. I generally don’t try to control whether a pictorial outcome is representational or entirely abstract. I work with a large image library of fragments and detritus, including cracked concrete, weathered furniture, broken tree limbs, scuffed surfaces, randomly selected fossils and other found bones, plant roots, and a variety of urban fragments. The imagry cross-pollinates within the works, suggesting the transitory nature of our surroundings and the impermanence of culture.
This ongoing drawing series depicts human sized creatures built from various component pieces of insects, mechanical parts, fossils, and root systems. Growing spontaneously from fragmented assemblies of anatomy, each drawing proposes a unique, hybrid phenotype. I never know exactly what will emerge. Each re-combination suggests an improbable migration of inherited identity. I mix plant and animal anatomies freely in symmetrical compositions, and think of this series as a bestiary of emergent creatures, each drawing springing from the former.
Spires and Monuments
I originally constructed two 26 foot tall spires for the first phase of downtown Denver’s re-development campaign in the late 1980s. Comprised of stacked and offset architectural motifs, they invoke the memory of Denver’s early 20th century love of revivalist styles as seen in examples like the Aladdin and Mayan theaters, and Union Station. I realized the stand-alone spires were oddly reminiscent of European cathedrals as well as calcium formations I had seen at Timpanogos Cave in Utah. I later created a series of campaniles and banded obelisks intended to blend tree-like growth with architectural and naturalistic references.
Focusing generally on highway bridges and fly-overs, this series imagines Los Angeles devoid of people, vehicles, and signage. Remnant architecture stands mute and crumbling; highways no longer connect to destinations. Massive concrete structures become merely land forms, slowly degrading and returning to the larger landscape.
Crystal, Lattice, Cell
This series of small paintings and drawings were made to resemble cell structures found in nature. Though roughly painted, they show a somewhat ordered disposition of unit cells within a failing over-all geometry. Once ordered elements break down, symmetry and balance falter, and geometric shapes erode, fragment, and fall away. Color leaches from one set of shapes to invade another. Stability gives way to collapse, and the paintings can be seen to be consuming themselves from the inside out.
I made this series of paintings in memory of my late father’s basement. Fifty years of discarded lamps, broken chairs, abandoned seat cushions, forgotten paperback novels, old documents, and mismatched stereo components were stacked high in narrow hallways and back bedrooms. In time, I imagined that they grew together in dense layers, forging unlikely hybrids–an ecosystem of emotional uncertainty and displaced memory.