Worcester, MA, where I grew up, is one of many downtrodden, post-industrial cities across the US, filled with dilapidated factory buildings, joblessness, and overgrown yards. In New York City, everyone travels through similarly distressed spaces daily: the streets and subways full of zoned-out people caught up in the daily grind, staring with purple rings under their glassy eyes. This work examines contemporary working-class life. Focusing on the conditions in which people live helps us examine the rituals, psychology and emotions of daily life.
The work starts with mundane moments observed while commuting or at home: a man staring at his phone while laying in bed or a woman with a strange expression passes by on the street. From these moments I make sketches, videos, iPhone drawings, or sculptural models to inform drawings and paintings. I experiment to discover relevant marks for each subject: a quick mark for the view out a window of a speeding bus, or a slick mark for tiles on the wall of a subway station.
Strangers, although unknown to us, are always leaving evidence about themselves as we catch a glimpse of them. People reveal their disposition in their folded arms, baby carts, laughing eyes, tightly clutched bags, or work uniforms. These clues spark imaginary narratives about peoples lives in each work. For example in several works a man texts in eerie light, exposing feelings of vulnerability and alienation. To examine fragments of peoples lives, brings attention to the joys and struggles of others.
The Subway Commuters series:
These paintings, drawings and models depict a surreal dystopic subway world. The subway is a metaphorical labyrinth or hell space- a stand in for the emotional unrest caused by the social and political instability of our current time. A paradoxical space: The subway is both public and private, banal and shocking, beautiful and ugly. The commuters depicted mirror the variety of contrasting emotions of joy or trauma we all experience in our daily lives.