BFA, 2001, Carnegie Mellon University; MFA, 2009, Stanford University. Exhibitions: The Drawing Center, NY; The Studio Museum, NY; Weatherspoon Museum, Greensboro, NC; McColl Center for Art + Innovation, Charlotte, NC. Publications: WRAL Raleigh; CulturalReproducers.org; Artsy.net; Wall Street Journal; New York Times. Awards: Creative Capital Emerging Fields Grant; UNC Institute for Arts and Humanities Digital Innovation Lab Fellow; North Carolina Arts Council Grant; Joan Mitchell Center, New Orleans; Banff Centre, Alberta, CA.
It's best to speak of myself in terms of the discoveries I've made in my studio, and vice versa. The objects I fashion and the dialogue generated is physical evidence of lived changes. I do differentiate between the goings on within and beyond the studio walls, however I encourage the overflow of intentions and activities between art and life wherever possible. To clarify, I speak of my art-objects as proxies rather than surrogates. Just as a coy, young lover defers to mixtape recordings of Otis Redding and Nat Cole to better whisper those sweet nothings, my objects are mediators. Transcendent of my articulable abilities, these objects illustrate life's ineffable stuffs; the process of their creation is the waxing of a new poetic. It is my hope that this object mediation is ultimately generative of a new language by which to figure my way forward into new artistic endeavors. It's a neologist's enterprise.
New inquiries are catalyzed by meditation on my subjective experience of a common sentiment. What's my connection to the current zeitgeist? What's left unsaid—that inscrutable residue in the space between words? My projects' origins are generally pretty personal, but tied to popular narratives.
I conduct rambling yet extensive research around events, people, concepts related to the original sentiment. I pore over theory concerning the archive, language, memory, and identity. I'm drawn to information that is esoteric, idiosyncratic, odd-ball, as well as to the vernacular, pop-cultural, a priori. It's not a strict formula in my work, but I find that contrasting the a priori with esoteric content effectively re-contextualizes material.
I collage concepts and research, and then materials. Working with found objects involves negotiating with their latent histories, material compositions, social value, and engaging them in dialogue with my research. Any new materials undergo similar evaluation.
I make paper (primarily recycled from concept-specific sources), and am currently making iron gall ink. I've long been interested in scripting text that is literally too caustic for its substrate. The ink I'm making—through a natural process of oxidization and eventual cellulose deterioration—eventually eats holes in paper producing an effect similar to hand-cutting paper (my ongoing practice). Following several months of research, I'm now accelerating this process (which generally occurs over hundreds of years) to produce lattice-like text works.
Lastly, writing is essential throughout the creation of new work, providing greater insight into it and identifying what's carried forward into future projects.
Disclaimer: All work represents the views of the INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS & AUTHORS who created them, and are not those of the school or museum of the Art Institute.