“The Turritopis Dohrnii is an immortal jellyfish. The immortal jellyfish propagate and then, faced with the normal path of life towards an inevitable decay and death, revert to a sexually immature stage. Once the adult Turritopis Dohrnii have reproduced, they don't die but transform themselves back into their juvenile polyp state. Their tentacles retract, their bodies shrink, and they sink to the ocean floor and start to cycle all over again. And not just once, they can do it over and over again. Growth is inevitable but they have the availability to undo it. Is the key to immortality in retaining a childlike mentality? The life cycle of the jellyfish suggests a return to youth, an undoing of everything you have become, a kind of suicide with inevitable resurrection as a child ready to begin again.”
The title of the exhibition, DIRT NAP is a term analogous to death. I thought it was funny. It lightens the load and suggests a temporary death and a possible resurrection or reawakening. Taken literally as a nap for dirt the name conjures thoughts about the end of nature.
Untitled (Cooper Statue) I’ve been obsessed with things that exist, but were not made. Everything that falls into this category is what we consider to be Nature. I want to make things that fall into this category. I want to make nature. It avoids thoughts about proportion and composition because the sculpture is not built it is grown. It’s a way of making that avoids thoughts. There would be some kind of undeniable truth about what it is and how it was made, or a congruency between the two that I think is superior, beautiful and true with a synergy with the laws that govern all things. A philosophy that if applied to the build world I think would yield a world of unending exploration and curiosity.
Untitled (Orange Statue) Same as copper description. The works mimic the way things are made in nature in the sense that the shape of the statue determines how the plastic falls and pools. The statue draws a portrait of itself according to a new logic formed by gravity and heat. The statue is found and carries with it the history of sculpture, which has a logic that is in opposition to this other more natural order. The color, its brightness and saturation, refers to this new landscape of artificial coloring in things like Tang drink mix or orange Gatorade but also goes back to colors seen in traditional landscape paintings of Thomas Cole and Albert Bierstadt. The cut and shift of the sculpture is a way of dissecting and seeing the sculpture as a real thing and how it was made.
“Horror Vacui (animal)” is covered in a new skin of polyurethane. This is a material that is in a lot of what we buy and build. It is cheap and comes in many different forms, hard, soft, flexible, foam like, rubber like and has a wide range of applications from mattresses to wheels to spandex, condoms, hoses etc. It’s a material that has become integral to the vocabulary of our built world. In a sense, it is our new skin. When you add water to it it expands. Built into its atomic DNA is this natural desire to grow and cover the space and things around it. The name Horror Vacui translates to “fear of empty space” and is used in both art and science. In Art, it is used to describe a style of drawing where every part of the page is covered with a mark, there is no space left untouched, the page is entirely filled. In science, it is the theory that a vacuum or a void is physically impossible. If there is a void in nature it will be instantly filled with a gas, a material, with something. This is a philosophy that seems to be built into our DNA. If there is a space we will fill it, if there is something that is not us we will take it and make it ours, we will grow and expand to no end. (why an animal? I want to do all of the elements. I’ve done a statue, a person. I want to do and animal shown here and some kind of plant life. And probably some manmade thing.)
“Coors Light” are enlarged and distorted architectural templates cut from Corian, a material used in contemporary kitchen counters akin to Formica of the 70’s. The shapes on these templates are typical standardized forms for drafting typical standardized buildings, circles, squares, triangles, toilets, lines. My thought was that these standardized forms and standardized materials yield a standardized life. Also, the material language of architecture has become a masquerade – nothing is what it appears to be. What appears to be stone is carved and painted foam, or what appears to be wood is a thin layer of vinyl siding. The built world exists in an altered state in the sense that its true material ingredients is altered and hidden. Everything is intoxicated, distorted. In short, I’m trying to make a relationship between Modern architecture and being intoxicated on cheap American beer.
I’m totally sober walking around in an intoxicated landscape where nothing is what it appears to be.
Untitled (bark) The bark works are literal landscape paintings. Parts of the landscape excavated and put directly into a painting as it was in nature, one solid piece of bark. They echo the outside so you can see it again for the first time. They come with there own language of mark making created by the sun and moss. You can read the tree and its orientation based on the location of the moss. The cutout refers to a gesture made by the radical environmentalist group EarthFirst when they announced their inception. They went to Glen Canyon Dam and hung a 300 foot long vinyl wedge off of its face to symbolize a crack or void in its surface.
“Need a Light to Light your Way” is a cast of my leg with my hair in it. The lighter between the toes references another work titled Coral Reefer where a lifelike cast of my hand comes out of an anthropomorphic shape made of fish tank rocks. The lighter is lit, forever burning. The fish rocks refer to an intoxicated landscape. The piece is about altered perception where nothing is what it appears to be. Having the lighter between the toes as opposed to the fingers suggests an alternate reality where the rules are familiar but slightly bent. This is my leg, napping, dead, severed, alive, offering you a light.
“American Lake Scene (Thomas Cole 1844),” the Plexiglas boxes are filled with cat litter, all brands, some pigmented and some building materials like basecoat and joint compound. It is a landscape painting. I have an ongoing list of materials that are manmade but used as substitutes for natural ones. Cat litter is a substitution for dirt. I figure the natural place for a cat to poop and pee is outside in the
dirt. Cat litter = Dirt. These are landscape paintings or sit within the tradition of landscape painting. The layers of material are like strata. The boxes are stacked on top of the other in a loose connection to the construction of traditional log cabins, a symbol an American life of self-sufficiency lived off the land and master of your surroundings. The beer cans are cast from cat litter and become the body of water or the river or lake in this intoxicated landscape painting. The colors in the cat litter are reminiscent of the colors in the traditional landscape paintings of Thomas Cole, who painted around America in the 1800s. When I look outside the colors remain the same but the material composition of the landscape I live in is quite different and the cat litter speaks to that change.