Through a lifestyle of over-consumption and over-indulgence, our landscape has been manufactured into new oases built on the outskirts of our once thriving cities. This expanse of new construction has left behind the remnants of our former selves to slowly wither away. As we retreat into our new landscapes, taking comfort in our new lives, the spaces where we once lived, where we once called home, school, or work, become the forgotten spaces between where we were and where we are going. Every day we pass by these forgotten spaces, barely noticing them, forgetting what they looked like, what they meant to us, like a long lost childhood friend or a loved one who died many years ago. They’ve become distant memories fading into the unknown, decomposing back into the landscape from which they formerly emerged.
Each piece I create depicts a recognizable place, a building, a landscape, someplace you may have been before, but haven’t been to in awhile. They seem familiar, yet far away, like they have disappeared deep into our memories. When I approach a new piece I look at the sheets of transparent glass in a painterly manner, as if each one is a blank canvas that can be used to investigate various ways to apply glass materials. Through a process that includes digital rendering, painting, drawing, silk-screening, sandblasting, and engraving onto a sheet of glass I develop a landscape that represents these forgotten spaces from my own fading memories.
These memories are from growing up in Cleveland. As a child I have memories of looking out the window as my father drove into the city to go to a meeting, visit the art museum, or enjoy a baseball game. As he would drive I would look out the window surveying the landscape, seeing activity in some neighborhoods, while witnessing a slow decay in others. This fascination with the decomposition of urban landscapes has since carried into my career as an artist. Now as I drive through various neighborhoods to do research I find myself reflecting on what is left, wondering how some places can be built up, but then forgotten and left to deteriorate back into the landscape.
Each step in my process builds a new layer in the piece, allowing me to create a landscape from distant memories of forgotten spaces that appears to travel deeper into the material than it actually does. This added depth, which capitalizes on the transparency of the glass, allows me to create fading landscapes in which some objects are behind others when they should be in front of them. Through the transparency of different glass paints and the building up of glass materials on the outside surface I further reflect drifting memories of decaying structures suffering from years of neglect.
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