The work presented here is primarily concerned with how 19th and 20th Century industrialization and urbanization under the propulsion of what some might call “the golden age of capitalism” has left various traces within the current context of Late Capitalism. In particular, I focus on the effects of deindustrialization on the city (Chicago in particular), the ways in which sections of the city have been subject to trauma that has transformed their appearance and functionality, and the inequality that one witnesses when navigating the contemporary city. At the same time, I explore the sources of material wealth and how this propels culture, community, and inequality while also examining how this material is transformed to become the texture of the built environment that we inhabit daily. In the process, I explore ways in which my own personal archive of images and objects intersects global archives that trace the formation of the broader world that we collectively inhabit in diverse manners.
This has taken the form of examining the traces of massive industrial manufacturing endeavors on the west side of Chicago such as Western Electric’s Hawthorne Works (010_01_289-340) and the former Sears Headquarters (021_02_708-717) as well as how sites such as the Fulton Gold Storage Facility (009_01_214-288) prior to its transformation into the Chicago Headquarters of Google. At the same time, it has taken the form of gathering a collection of images that trace oil and mineral extraction and refining and collaging them with my own archive of images that are made possible by this culture of extraction (003_02_050-060).
Beyond the thematic, the work is driven by exploring the tension between image, text, abstraction, and non-representation. This takes the form of exploring the relationship between found photography / images and photos that I create, the relationship between photography and painting, and the relationship between figuration and abstraction. This plays out across a range of work that never is truly confined to a single media. At the same time, these works explore how the surface of the work is constructed, the history of that construction as it relates to the subject, and the way in which the viewer relives this upon receiving the artwork.
The aim of this practice is to make visible that which we might overlook, the forces, companies, and people who play an outsized role in the formation and operation of our world, and the events that shape our world, but that may too easily be forgotten. In doing so, I hope to foster conversation while also creating objects and experiences that are genuinely pleasurable and that engage an audience over an extended period of time.
As that practice evolves, I hope to expand the scale of the work to embrace larger spatial contexts and installations while also extending the scope of the critique of the material, community, lived, and emotional effects of Late Capitalism. The ultimate goal is to open a broader critique of neoliberal globalization, the corporation, and business practices that degrade the environment by asking what the artwork as portrait and landscape might look like. Is there a way that engaging, imagining, and critiquing a corporation leads to a specific image, design, and aesthetic experience? Could it lead to a new manner of making and navigating space? Could such a framework influence how corporations act in the future and how we as a public or workforce engages and benefits from them? While I have no illusion that doing so will necessarily alter the trajectory of deeply entrenched forces, I do hope that it becomes a stage charged with critical images and objects that provide context that might serve as a departure point to collectively dream of a better future.