Navigating New York City means existing in a constant state of flux; sidewalks shuffle horizontally, stairs/elevators thrust vertically, subways tunnel below, bridges reach towards the sky. Day to day experiences often consist of endless journeys from point A to B and back again. Opportunities for reflection concerning the spaces/places travelled though/around/in, unfortunately, tend to be rare.
My work begins with this concept in mind. I create photographs and collage compositions that highlight overlooked and banal elements within a neighborhood/area/space. The compositions are meant to show the viewer what they are missing, so that when they leave the gallery they too can spot various overlooked idiosyncratic elements that surround them everyday. Once an installation location is identified, I spend days scouring the immediate area with my camera, collecting images which I use as found objects. These images are then downloaded into the computer and various sketches are made using Photoshop. Each element is printed separately, and stuck onto the wall one piece at a time. The images in the [flo] series use a material called Photo-tex, a removable sticky back inkjet printable paper.
[flo] #4 – LIC
flo]#4 – 2010 – 20’x9’ – was created specifically for a new gallery called The Homefront, in Long Island City, Queens, New York. The space previously housed a showroom for a new condos being built across the street, and retains elements of this previous use.
It is a site specific large scale photographic collage that chronicles the radical gentrification glaringly evident in the area surrounding The Homefront. It visualizes the dissonance between the neighborhood’s low rise brick industrial and residential buildings and the slew of imposing high rise glass mega buildings growing seemingly overnight all around them. A cacophony of change abounds: extensive street diversions and construction, structures rising and falling, parks and street furniture appearing, sidewalk repairs, and subway station upgrades. The streets are ripe with brightly colored freshly painted shapes and lines, a code that only construction workers can translate. Conversely, buildings display the vestiges of time: fading handmade signs warning of obsolete violations, worn metal doors to shuttered garages, house numbers scribbled in sharpie, “sidewalk closed” at nearly every turn.
[flo] #3 – 2010 – 23’x14’ – was a site specific work created for the Affordable Art Fair in May 2010. It was installed in the lobby of 7W 34 Street in midtown Manhattan. The work used imagery from the fair floor, the building itself (especially the elevators), and the view of midtown from the fair floor windows (11th). This activated the viewer’s perception of the spaces they would be traversing on the way to and during the fair.
[flo]#1 and [flo]#2 (2009) focus attention on the immediate landscape in and around the 55 Washington Street (in DUMBO, Brooklyn) elevator lobby/overall 111 Front street building. By photographing the ducts, pipes, light fixtures, office equipment, and other necessary but often hidden features of a gallery, the collage deconstructs the space, highlighting the architectural elements that make the building function, but often go unnoticed. The viewer is invited to appreciate the space in its entirety instead of imagining the artwork to be separate or unaffected by its context. The literal and imagined ductwork, electric lines, sprinkler system and other pipes lead the viewer’s eye around the space, serving as pathways to the building’s exterior and the surrounding urban geography.
collages in public
Construction barricades disrupt our sense of place by genericising stretches of sidewalk, acting as vague placeholders for “the future”, but ultimately functioning as faceless voids in an otherwise chaotic street level landscape. “Free” spaces are nocturnally filled with some form of street style “on-the-fly” mark making: movie posters are slathered onto their surfaces, paint colors are hastily applied to every nook and cranny, graffiti tags are scrawled on top of each other, all creating a system of unique symbols and signifiers. By collaborating with these pre-determined slap dash irregular canvases, my work speaks with their native elements by both becoming one with and overlapping the marks present. They add sounds to a language that seems almost familiar (fly-posting, tagging, etc.), but become a language all of their own, like alien graffiti.