My art is strongly influenced by the profound and rapid changes unfolding in East Austin and throughout the city. It seems almost daily that an old house is torn down and in the blink of an eye, two new ones emerge in its place. People are moved and their histories are erased with bulldozers’ iron teeth, and the century-old materials are hauled to the dump.
As I witness these changes I feel an urge to salvage at least a piece from the old houses. Looking a little closer at them makes me wonder what stories they hold. Peeling away the layers of sheetrock, paint and wallpaper reveals scars left by nails, carpenters’ markings and the effects of time. This old wood speaks to me and it raises many questions.
Curiosity about these layers, the human act of altering our surroundings, has crept into my work as an artist. My paintings develop in layers of paint, each successive one revealing a little of the previous one. In some paintings I’ve inserted pieces from the old houses, using them to define spaces, or, perhaps to raise barriers. Certainly, I am attempting to preserve memories – real or imagined.
In my photos I also attempt to document our hand in changing our environment. Patches on old walls, splotches of paint over repairs, spray paint on dumpsters, all are evidence of what must be an innate human need to mark our territory, to leave our mark on our time.
My work is no different. It is my mark on my time and place.
East Austin, 2016