Presidential Suites, 2005–2006

Untitled (Reagan)
oil on panel
12 × 18 inches
2005

Untitled (Nixon)
oil on panel
12 × 18 inches
2005

02mr2007presidentialsuites_dogs

Two dogs
oil and encaustic on wood panel
18 × 24 inches
2006

presidentialsuites_kingfaisal

King Faisal
oil and encaustic on wood panel
12 × 18 inches
2006

05mr2007presidentialsuites_thatcheronrosebud

Thatcher on Rosebud
oil and encaustic on wood panel
12 × 18 inches
2006

04mr2006presidentialsuites_trudeauandcastro

Trudeau and Castro
oil and encaustic on wood panel
18 × 24 inches
2006

Victoria

Victoria
oil and encaustic on wood panel
18 × 24 inches
2006

Spill paintings, 2003–2009

The paintings themselves are difficult to describe (and photograph) because they are based on an optical effect that requires close inspection of the work, and the images hidden within the work can only be seen at an oblique angle. Below, I have sometimes provided a full disclosure of the hidden image. When seen face-on from a distance the paintings look like pools/drips/splotches of black enamel on glass, with a mirror backdrop (reflecting the surrounding architecture and the viewer). Upon closer inspection the viewer might detect images hidden behind these splotches; these images are painted on the other side of the glass, behind the black enamel, and these images are reflected in a mirror that is placed about 3/4 inch behind the glass. The purpose of this optical contrivance/device is to foster the experience of voyeurism in the viewer. While most paintings are to be experienced as a seamless opticality, these glass and mirror paintings are meant to make one reflect on the act of looking through an absolute disjointedness in the act of viewing. A strange combination of private/public viewing results.

All of the paintings incorporate bawdy, often child-like or dream-like imagery. Scattered across the picture plane the images are meant to allude to a visual game of association (the psychoanalytic displacement and condensation of language and image). The works display an alternative to perspectival painting practices--the works are at once figurative and abstract (inspired by Pollock's drips; Duchamp's latent subject matter)--and deal with what Jacques Lacan called the "anamorphic" tradition (e.g. Holbein's anamorphic skull in The Ambassadors can only be seen at an oblique angle). In their hidden dimension, the paintings reference the landscape tradition: in the use of mostly a horizontal format, in the shifting depths of field between actual and fictive, pictorial space, and in my use of pastoral imagery.

Installation shot of Spill paintings

Wound (detail)

Wound (verso; without mirror)

Down the hole
Enamel on glass; mirror
36 × 48 inches
2003

Down the hole (detail)

Dog's dinner

Dog’s dinner
Enamel on glass; mirror
5.5 × 4 feet
2009

Dog’s dinner
detail (as seen in mirror)

Dog’s dinner (verso)

Dog’s dinner
detail (verso; view behind spill)

The Struggle for Recognition

The Struggle for Recognition
enamel on glass
mirror
195 × 223.3 × 28.5 cm
2009

The Struggle for Recognition (detail)

The Struggle for Recognition
detail

The Struggle for Recognition (detail)

The Struggle for Recognition
detail

Counting Chickens

Counting Chickens
enamel on glass, mirror
193.1 × 245 × 36.2 cm
2009

Counting Chickens (detail)

Counting Chickens
detail

Counting Chickens (detail)

Counting Chickens
detail

Counting Chickens (verso)

Counting Chickens
detail (verso; view behind spill)

Harnessed (installation view)

Harnessed (installation view)
enamel on glass; mirror
6 × 9 feet
2009

Harnessed (detail)

Harnessed
detail

Harnessed (detail)

Harnessed
detail (verso; view behind spill) –this is the one with the skull pyramid

Lamela

Lamela
resin and oil paint on glass
7 × 5 feet
2009

Sanguine

Sanguine
resin and oil paint on glass
7 × 5 feet
2009

Treehouse(detail of verso; without mirror)
Enamel on glass; mirror
20 × 30 inches
2004

Swans (view of verso without mirror and frame)
Enamel on glass
24 × 36 inches
2003

Snowman (verso; without mirror)
Enamel on glass
20 × 30 inches
2004

Monkey-money (verso; without mirror)
Enamel on glass
20 × 30 inches
2004

The Following...
Hot foil stamping, acrylic paint and acylic medium on canvas
10 × 6 feet
2001

The Following...
(detail)

Fais dodo
Hair embroidered on canvas
18 × 18 inces
1999

Site of Manoeuvres (ratman)
Hair embroidered on canvas; rabbit-skin glue
18 × 24 inches
2001

rat's nest

Rat’s nest (after Courbet)
hair embroidered on canvas; rabbitskin glue
12 × 12 inches
2008

Untitled-(for-mother)

Untitled (for mother)
moths, pigment, & resin on canvas
24 × 24 inches
2008

Lube, Shocks, & Exhaust While You Wait
Enamel on aluminum
24 × 48 inches
1998

Hot Water, Heat, & Cable On All Fours
Enamel on aluminum
24 × 48 inches
1998

Empty Returns
Enamel on aluminum
24 × 48 inches
1998

Work
Screenprinting on canvas
24 × 66 inches
1998

Freude
Screenprinting on canvas
24 × 66 inches
1998

Log
Relief printing on canvas
24 × 66 inches
1998

2000
Screenprinting on canvas
24 × 66 inches
1998 Centrefold Series 2001-2002

Canyon
photo reproduction; resin; paint; plasticine 10 × 22 inches
2001

Scubadivers
photo reproduction; resin; paint; plasticine 10 × 22 inches
2001

Suburb
photo reproduction; resin; paint; plasticine 10 × 22 inches
2002

Sheep
photo reproduction; resin; paint; plasticine 10 × 22 inches
2001

From the Holidays Series

"[I]f we turn to the newspaper as cultural product, we will be struck by its profound fictiveness. What is the essential literary convention of the newspaper? If we were to look at a sample front page of, say, The New York Times, we might find there stories about Soviet dissidents, famine in Mali, a gruesome murder, a coup in Iraq, the discovery of a rare fossil in Zimbabwe, and a speech by Mitterrand. Why are these events so juxtaposed? What connects them to each other? Not sheer caprice. Yet obviously most of them happen independently, without the actors being award of each other or of what the others are up to. The arbitrariness of their inclusion and juxtaposition...shows that the linkage between them is imagined. This imagined linkage derives from two obliquely related sources. The first is simply calendrical coincidence. The date at the top of the newspaper, the single most important emblem on it, provides the essential connection--the steady onward clocking of homogeneous empty time...The second source of imagined linkage lies in the relationship between the newspaper, as a form of book, and the market... In a rather special sense, the book was the first modern-style mass-produced industrial commodity...the newspaper is merely an extreme form of the book, a book sold on a colossal scale, but of ephemeral popularity. Might we say: one-day best-sellers? The obsolescence of the newspaper on the morrow of its printing--curious that one of the earlier mass-produced commodities should so prefigure the inbuilt obsolescence of modern durables--nonetheless, for just this reason, creates this extraordinary mass ceremony: the almost precisely simultaneous consumption ('imagining') of the newspaper-as-fiction. We know that particular morning and evening editions will overwhelmingly be consumed between this hour and that, only on this day, not that... The significance of this mass ceremony--Hegel observed that newspapers serve modern man as a substitute for morning prayers--is paradoxical. It is performed in silent privacy, in the lair of the skull... What more vivid figure for the secular, historically clocked, imagined community can be envisioned? At the same time, the newspaper reader, observing exact replicas of his own paper being consumed by his subway, barbershop, or residential neighbours, is continually reassured that the imagined world is visibly rooted in everyday life....[F]iction seeps quietly and continuously into reality, creating that remarkable confidence of community in anonymity which is the hallmark of modern nations." (Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities , London/NY: Verso, 1983 (2002), pp. 33-35)

From Valentine's Day

Condoleeza
encaustic on newspaper
approx. 23 × 13 inches each
2002

Prisoner
encaustic on newspaper
approx. 23 × 13 inches each
2002

Wedding
encaustic on newspaper
approx. 23 × 13 inches each
2002

Musician (obituary)
encaustic on newspaper
approx. 23 × 13 inches each
2002

Real Estate
encaustic on newspaper
approx. 23 × 13 inches each
2002

Fat man
encaustic on newspaper
approx. 23 × 13 inches each
2002

Roses
encaustic on newspaper
approx. 23 × 13 inches each
2002

Repast, 1997–1999

Oil paint on ceramic plate This is an allegory of painting. The work springs from a reflection on the commodity as fetish, and how this comes out of capitalist production models. In the case of Repast, I have taken plates that are mass produced and turned them into craft objects; they reference at once famous works of art and the folk tradition of painting on plates. Much of my work comes out of this Western obsession with producing systems, in art in the form of collections of an aesthetic or epistemological order, so as to advance the notions of a common good, a common taste, a common knowledge, based on Enlightenment principles. The overlapping of many registers reflects a need to make sense of the hidden power structures at work in all forms of representation. Repast is characterized by a deterritorializtion of the sources at hand: advertising hangs next a detail of a Van Eyck, a Disney/MacDonald's plate sits next to a Rembrandt. The desire to create a new language not of communication and meaning so much as a way to think new paths of becoming, new opportunities to assimilate images and words and orders of things , might foster a new outlook on the nature of Western colonial thinking. In Repast, I establish a link between the development of monocultures in terms of animal-raising, and the treatment of humans as cattle (their labour and flesh used as commodities). Repast deals directly with the idea of collections coming out of a privileged subject position, that of the formation of the bourgeois subject. I am interested in still life as a low genre within art, one that served to reflect the status of an emerging subjectivity in 17 th and 18th century Northern Europe. The lack of human presence within still life was supposed to make one reflect on the perishability of the objects present, and ultimately on death. Objects in fact were filling in for human presence and human relations. This is the rationale of the commodity as fetish. Its status stands in for the person's identity: I am what I own, what I display conspicuously. The collection was painted on a variety of plates acquired from thrift shops, and the one binding subject within the collection is the depiction of 'flesh'. The work was also inspired by Claude Levi-Strauss' The Raw and the Cooked . In this book he tells us that the two things that distinguish humans from animals is our ritual treatment of food, and our use of language. All humans, whether "civilized" or "primitive," prepare their food through cooking or preserving it from rot. Then there is the added supplement of how one cooked or prepared the food, that signifier of class and prestige that is conferred onto the consumer.