The act of painting is, for me, fundamentally rooted in time. It encompasses a recognition that my experience of the world is woven from of my memories of the past, awareness of the present, and expectation for the future. In the Imprint paintings, I use painting as a means of marking time and allude to other modes - including geological, biological, and written – by which the passage of time is recorded.
The paintings are built in layers, sanded smooth, and layered again. Within each layer, I incise textual marks and shapes suggestive of fractal geometries in their repetition and origin in nature. The marks are drawn into wet paint or stenciled from scraps from my recent cut paper work. The text is excerpted from my journal and is similarly scored into wet paint. I bury each layer in a subsequent one, and much as the strata of sedimentary rock encase fossils, the paint contains a history, vestiges of which are revealed through sanding. In the final iteration, a non-objective composition of marks is often accompanied by lines of illegible words that intermittently come into focus to create a rhythm evocative of a page of prose.
In the paintings, each mark records a fleeting, unremarkable, individual moment – yet taken as a whole, the marks create space and passages through the painting. This is analogous to our human relationship to time – most individual moments in our lives are unexceptional – and yet, taken together, they shape the development of our identities and histories. As a parent of young children, I am struck by how the evidence of this is magnified by the rapid growth and development that occurs in a short time frame.
Any attempt to make sense of the passage of time is a reminder of our inability to contain it. My journal is detailed and descriptive – and yet, the memories it seeks to preserve are, if anything, compromised by the very act of recording them. The paintings are a visual echo of this futility – both text and mark present at moments with a clarity, only to disappear when viewed from another angle, at times dissolving the entire composition or large swaths of information in the surface of the painting. And yet, the apparent physicality of the paintings, the gashes and furrows in the paint, are an insistent reminder of the importance of the present moment.