The source imagery for my current body of work is silver and gold-plated decorative objects from the 17th to 19th century. Digital images of these objects are the basis for making large-scale installations, editions of single prints, paintings, drawings and artist books.
My work is driven primarily by a preoccupation with the depiction of metallic sheen, ornamentation and pattern. This provides a framework for ideas related to value, history and our relationship to objects. Objects from this time period are emblems of wealth, power, terrible taste and bad values which I recontextualize through process and materials. In addition to drawing and painting, I use the low-tech industrial process of screenprinting and degradable substrates such as newsprint and Kraft paper which undermine the original preciousness of the objects and their historical context.
Jorge Luis Borges defined the baroque as “that style that deliberately exhausts (or tries to exhaust) its own possibilities…” Much in this same spirit, I gravitate towards the most densely ornamented objects, the most ungainly and purposeless. I apply labor-intensive techniques to create serial images of these baroque objects and use non-archival materials which will alter the images over time and eventually cause their destruction. In this way I have created a situation of absurd defeatism which invites a complex interpretation of value.