Fictional Borders #6 – The Way Out Is In

6.5″ x 16″ x 1″ – steel, nail straps, aluminum shingles, plexiglass, resin, epoxy, beam clamps, limited edition photo print, paper, acrylic

This limited-edition mixed media sculpture depicts the unanticipated beauty of an open horizon blocked by the concertina wire that ordinarily marks divisions between the essential fiction of national borders. The image itself is composed of two mirrored photographs, spliced together to give the impression of a hypnotic spiral connecting everything, everywhere—and signaling that even the harshness of barbed wire cannot block out the sky, or sever the horizons of imagination.

Taken at an abandoned church in Atlanta, Georgia – near the location of some of ICE’s most brutal detention facilities, this photographic sculptural series (like much of my work) is as much about the movement of light / shadow (and bursts of hope) through these pieces as it is about the original photographs themselves. Images here reflect the many angles through which light hits the hardened resin and the variety of shadows cast – an intentional reminder that our perspective is everything.

Many years ago, a man I knew quite well told me “your heart is a razor wire pillow,” and I carry that with me: I see those words inscribed on every jagged edged fence, every spiral of bladed, barbed warnings. But the thing is, beauty comes with sharp edges, sometimes. And besides – I’ve always had a deep love for the places to which I am told I should not go.

The world belongs to us all. At least, it should.

Available here.

Talk To Strangers [For David] #4

13” x 24” x 1.5” [salvaged clapboard; house paint; resin; epoxy; limited edition photographic print; digital collage; paper; plywood]

“Talk To Strangers [For David]” is a series of work inspired by the unanticipated friendships that arise from unexpected, invaluable new connections. The pieces are constructed—in part—from clapboard salvaged from a renovated home, coupled with plywood scraps, and digital collages of my own limited-edition photographic prints.

David is a long-time Twitter follower who became a friend. He’s also someone who values the act of finding beauty in overlooked spaces, like refuge and salvage of all sorts. Like life, the Internet is a swamp most of the time, and we all know it. But not ALL the time. I’ve met a ton of incredible people on Twitter, and when the Internet trolls swarm I have to remind myself — things are not always so bleak. Never let the ugliness obscure or erase all the unanticipated beauty and hidden joy – in physical locations, digital, or any other corner of life. 

A few months ago, David started sending me the refuse he finds at job sites so I can incorporate them into my art. I’ve been anxious as all hell to publicly show my art again after many years of hiatus – let alone attempt to market it, especially now that I’m unemployed – and trying to actually sell the things I make that (vaguely, perhaps) keep me sane. David’s constant support keeps me going in ways he cannot know. Some things are beyond words.

This series is inspired by him, created in part with the refuse in which he saw glimpses of possibility and salvaged with me in mind: may these pieces remind you to always seek the overwhelming beauty lurking around us in the darkest of times, and renew your gratitude for those whose presence makes life not bearable, but full of joy.