Conversation with E. Vila Matas, Figure 4
2013, mixed media, 38 x 30 inches
My work on paper combines archival digital prints with analog painting interventions that blend landscape and architecture. The work begins with a collage made from scanned jpegs of my prints and drawings, often using my silkscreen prints as the substrate. This allows the architecture of my past work to re-assert itself into new imagery. Once the collage is made I paint and draw on it, then rescan and enlarge it. The next step in the process is to make decisions about intervening further with pencil, casein and gouache paint.
The imagery has become reflective of the physical damage created from hurricanes and tornados, and from the over-development of coastal regions of the Northeast and of my native Midwest. Recent occurrences of continuing natural cataclysms and man-made disasters have deeply affected my perception of our physical environment.
My work dialogues with the Spanish writer Enrique Vila-Matas and I hope to expand these thoughts into the visual realm in a continuing dance of language and art. Matas’ protagonist Samuel Riba ruminates in Dublinesque: “Five elements he considered essential for the novel of the future. These essential elements were intertextuality; connection with serious poetry; awareness of a moral landscape in ruins; a slight favoring of style over plot; a view of writing that moves forward like time.” “He realizes that he will have to choose between flicking through a book – remaining heroically in the Gutenberg age – or else surfing the net and entering the digital world. For a moment he feels like he’s right in the middle of an imaginary bridge linking the two epochs.”