I engage with dysfunctional spaces in society and use the language of abstraction to process my experience. This has been fueled in the last couple of years by my status as a resident of Inglewood, who traverses a variety of communities in my daily travels. People who have limited access to education, economic stability and safety populate many of the urban areas that I encounter around LA. There is a dearth of graffiti, discarded furniture and other trash, untended parkways and sidewalks, stray dogs and cats. Also to be found are unexpected patches of wildflowers, lovely bungalows, vegan restaurants, kids playing, trees and birds. We occupy a world of contradictions, where blight and gentrification butt against each other with distressing regularity and discomfort.
My recent work explores these rough locales that we visit and/or occupy and attempts to reconcile a reality that is both intolerable and customary. I examine cultural history, psychological trauma, and social anger by wedding aspects of the formal language of painting (hard-edge stripes, drips, the color field) with tropes from urban environments (emergency/warning signage colors of Day-Glo orange and yellow; the gestures and marks of graffiti and graffiti abatement; cardboard used by the homeless to create shelter; and the ever-shifting horizon as defined by building, power-line, fence, etc.) and decorative motifs (Mayan symbols, Renaissance textile patterns). The resulting work emits a beautiful distress that highlights and challenges quality of life issues in troubled communities.