Thursday, March 22, 2007
Laying it On Thick
Informed by a study of still life painting and an aversion of hierarchical structure, I embark on a study of the pile, heap, mound, or stack. All of my work is a pile. Piling itself is the habit of a collector, an accumulator, a chronicler. I speak of retention and repetition. My drawn and painted piles are composed of a shifting lexicon of objects to be stacked, stuffed, or otherwise composed into the triangular/conical form that connotes a mound of carelessly dropped foodstuffs and discards. This lexicon of objects points to an interest in classical notions of still life, vanitas, or nature morte as well as a more contemporary notion of repetitive labor borrowed from minimalist and performance art.
I frame the still life in terms of my habitual feelings of guilt. In twinning drawn images of Black Forest cakes and hams, a profusion of grapes and sliced fruit, with drawings of whoopee cushions and rubber chickens, outdated photographic paraphernalia, and skulls and body parts, I am lacing these works with a chronicle of decadent disorder as it functions socially and politically. Through repetition comes veneration and expressionless comedy, the ethics of minimalism filter the excess of dandyish draping treats. I critique this excess through the filter of my own overindulgence. In building piles of delicacies and carcass I lampoon my own disorder and compulsion, a self-eating deadpan gesture of dread and complacency.