For years as a graphic designer I worked on communicating economically. Now I’m interested in pushing that idea of economy to its limits, even to the point of impeding communication -- how much information can be removed or transformed, how much must be left behind to retain the narrative?
Since 2011 I’ve worked with newspapers, cutting patterns from the vanishing print editions, creating a dialogue of positive and negative space, and determining what image and text remained for the viewer to engage with. I’m interested in content, but I’m also interested in aesthetic beauty; my intention to highlight both is always evident. But at the center of my effort is to partially subvert the narrative so that the viewer has a sense that all is not well. There’s something going on that needs more attention.
The 2016 election altered my point of view and my work has changed dramatically. In the past I have signified a sense of loss and time passing in abstract terms -- fragmentation of shape and pattern. This felt more and more hollow to me as my sense of outrage grew. I wanted to capture the brutality we are inflicting on families who are enduring difficult journeys to escape violence in their countries. My images still come from the news, but are increased in scale so that they can’t be ignored or passed by. Destruction in the form of cutting away now suggests a real act of violence. In other works on paper I emphasize the breakdown of our constitution by reproducing American foundational texts, subjecting them to burning and scarring.
We all process our response to important events in individual ways. I don’t pretend that my current work changes anything, but in a new climate of news cycles racing by and attacks on the press in general, I am compelled to capture this moment in tangible form, hopefully for us to remember before we move on.