Mercy $2200 Mixed Media 32 x 40 saved to favorites save to favorites
I have always been drawn to non-conventional beauty. My paintings have traditionally focused on place as memory, experience, and how those two things intersect. What I hope to accomplish in my work is the discovery of unexpected juxtapositions in the images, in the color, in the materials, in the world, in life — serendipity. In this body of work entitled “What Remains”, I have continued the exploration of this juxtaposition but have added a new element, the last correspondence that my maternal grandfather sent to my grandmother before he was killed during WW II somewhere on the Russian front. I never met him, have limited knowledge of his life, but like an umbilical cord, these letters in a language that I do not speak are my sole connection to him. I have held on to these letters for many years, not knowing exactly why but with the knowledge in my gut that they were important. Through the ongoing development of my painting and imagery, I discovered a parallel between the graffiti I photographed in recent travels and these letters. By juxtaposing these final letters from the grandfather I never knew with these images of strange and unfamiliar walls, doors and alley ways, I explored the inexplicable connections and emotions one might experience with places seen only in passing and objects of sentimental value. Two very different types of documentation yet the parallel lies in the idea that both are the remnants of the presence of someone that is no longer there-the remains of the mark versus the ephemeral and transitory nature of the body. What also appears implicit to me in both the graffiti and letters is their connections with correspondence and communication and perhaps even a sense of loss and nostalgia. A final visual element that I incorporated in this work was illustrations of bees. The bee iconography speaks to the idea of communication and the critical nature of this communication to the survival of the hive. Bees also connect the work to family, clan and history. For this reason, the bees are a poetic parallel between the letters and graffiti.