My work is inspired by my surroundings. Since moving to Oakland a year ago, I’ve been photographing the things that people dump on the sidewalk. I’m interested in the narratives suggested by the contents of these piles (a teddy bear, a bolt of fabric, a suitcase, a seemingly new Ikea couch), and in the tableaux created by heaps of discarded belongings in the midst of a street, which I see as a metaphor for economic and societal collapse. I use these photos as references for paintings (oil on canvas). Translating the images into paintings allows me to make them more beautiful and seductive, enticing the viewer into looking at (and thinking about) something they might ordinarily turn away from.
My previous body of work grew from photographing the shopping carts used by homeless people in my Mission district neighborhood. Using my photographs as reference, I created mixed media constructions that combined collage and drawing, resulting in a fragmented, pieced-together appearance that parallels the jumbled, cumulative nature of the carts themselves. My goal was to use the power of beauty to transform images of squalor into splendor.
Residency: June 2012 - September 2012
Art Exhibition: Friday, September 21 & Saturday, September 22