There is an apparition of American stars like blisters, deteriorated surfaces, and injuries that have been pathetically mended with tape. These paintings are fragments of the American state, depicted in its sallow material form, in need of regeneration and repair. The fluorescent stripe patterns and plastic-like orange skin, borrowed from construction barriers and caution cones, signal both a condition of emergency and a state of de/construction. My current work also incorporates references to neoclassical architecture, particularly that of the White House, which I see as an aesthetic tool for asserting the authority of the American state—even as the narrative empowering such authority crumbles into insubstantiality.
In an effort to mirror the lack of solidity I see in the American idea, I use natural painting mediums like milk paint, egg tempera, beeswax, and natural glues. These are materials that are more inclined to entropy, and I intensify that quality as I work—actively deteriorating the paintings as they are made. Substituting conventional archival painting techniques for destabilizing methods, I am, moreover, giving the completed paintings permission to peel, crack, and otherwise change over the course of their life. I see the entropy of paintings as an opportunity to reflect on the way all material forms, and even immaterial forms like the notion of “America,” reshape themselves across time. As I make, I consider the difficulty of trying to implement order and control—the futility of trying to hold something together.