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This series celebrates the wry, often anarchial pleasure in the ways in which personal object symbols interact in an urban environment. There is an aesthetic tension created by the blurring of public and private spaces by the use of personal objects loaded with identity-making meaning. Narratives between these objects happen by accident; stories are formed by happenstance. In the bicycle diptych, a cartoon elephant gazes longingly at a bicycle while in a mirrored image, Death cocks his head in a cell phone conversation while his bicycle awaits him. The motor oil stained hand of a car mechanic clutches a coffee mug with a cheaply printed personal photograph of an exploding truck.
Other images use these symbols as sober metaphors of urban isolation. In Rat’s Shadow, street artist Blek LeRat’s paper woman has worn to a white shadow against concrete bearing the silhouette of a former window. In another photo, a blue couch and a white picnic basket await destruction outside a factory wall as a faultline suggests the splitting of a domestic unit. In Jesus Tires and Flat Fix, the owner of a derelict tire shop has turned his store façade into a touching tribute to patriotism and Christianity.
People serve the same function as the objects in this series, absorbing the symbols of their environment to create narrative scenes. In Every Eight Seconds, a man’s eyes creep up to the sexually robust painting behind him while the woman’s pink bathrobe in Motel Room in Grand Island, Nebraska pokes fun at its own sexual innuendo.
This series also represents a relationship between the intimacy of my personal relationship of these locales and the places’ own public sphere and public narrative. All three places depicted in this series—New York, Minnesota and Nebraska—are places where either I or my loved ones come from. My frequent travels between these places are in the hopes of continuing the dialogue, the affection between these people and by proxy, these places. The title, Backseat, Subway and Sidewalk, refers to the methods of travel to continue these stories.