My mother, who worked at Walmart for many years, told stories of fights that broke out during Black Friday sales. Grown-ups fighting like children over discount merchandise. Often the sheriff’s department needed to intervene. These stories seemed outrageous, almost unbelievable, but were true and, in a way, sum up my interest in human consumption. Particularly the consumption of fast-moving consumer goods that are purchased often, used quickly, are relatively cheap and sold in volume.
In my work, I address questions about consumerism through sculptures and installations created with the leftover packaging of consumables and related materials of all types - plastic shopping bags, shampoo and water bottles, various cords, cable and tubing, etc. I make a wire framework and attach the materials on top of one another. The impetus for some of these pieces springs from the debris found in San Francisco, a result of homelessness and mental illness, as well as a physical manifestation of the failures of consumerism for the individual. On a macro level, this series addresses the fusion of our detritus with the natural world and the food chain, such as the Pacific Garbage Patch or plastics that are consumed and digested by birds and marine life.
My drawings and paintings often begin from photos I take walking around the city – from pigeons feasting on a discarded bag of chips, to Burger King’s advertisement for a Whopperrito, to the glaring eyes of a mascot on children’s cereal boxes. Often, I print out multiple copies of an image, cut them up and collage them on canvas, panel or paper in a frenzied, swirling pattern. They form a type of landscape or metrological phenomena resembling an “Inscape” as first depicted by the Chilean painter, Roberto Matta. An Inscape has been described as “the psychoanalytic view of the mind as a three-dimensional space.” In my work, they represent are a place where the drive for consumption enters the deeper stratum of our unconscious; where logos and mascots can be mistaken for gods and demons, nacho sauce and soda mimic primordial seas and the vast spaces of big-box store become the fertile plains of the Storm God.