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As a post-contemporary artist living in Albany, New York, I find a strong physical connection to the rolling stock of crude oil tankers endlessly rumbling through the South End’s Kenwood Yard.
It is here that I acquire objects and find inspiration to create my current series of work. A series of work that documents the United States’ growing crude oil industry and the continued history of the Delaware & Hudson Railroad Co. while simultaneously exploring the darkness of my psyche and illuminating my findings with transgressive art. Within my work, my reality and dreams come together spiritually in front of the viewer to form a world both strange and familiar.
I assemble my art with relics acquired from the sacred grounds of rail yards. Each relic is chosen specifically for the energy it possess. Residual energy from time past clings to these relics and when combined with relics of the same or with similiar properties causes a charge which activates future thoughts and events. Each relic is carefully selected, manipulated and repurposed according to a narrative it reveals to me. The relics are blackened as an act of mortification. The process of blackening the relics destroys all preconceived notions of the relic and forces me to slow down in order to examine the contours and shadows of the relic while examining the contours and shadows of my mind. Both the relics and my mind are examined until the light reflected back comes into focus.
Black is also the color of lucrative commodities transported along Albany’s railroad lines throughout it’s rich history. From the days of the Delaware & Hudson Railroad Company’s black anthracite coal that was used to heat hundreds of thousands of households throughout the Northeastern United States to present day Canadian Pacific Railway transporting an immeasurable amount of Bakken Formation crude oil to and from Global Foundries in the Port of Albany, black has always been a substantial source of natural energy and it has always been transported by railroad.
The construction of the square box which displays the relics is equally important as the assemblage of relics. The accuracy and precision of geometry used during the construction of the square and it’s individual compartments create moments in time when I am blessed to witness the accurate and precise joinery of the physical and spiritual realms before my own eyes and with my own hands.
Each assemblage I create contains it’s own strange attraction through evidence of human existence and my fragmented scenes of reality. This process of creating is esoteric in nature and invokes a sense of refuge and salvation for when I am most hopeless and pessimistic. A refuge meticulously calculated by the perseverance of man as he fights off the natural progression of the industrial landscape. This is a world where man thrives while breathing the most polluted of environments, a world where nightmares meet reality and light can only be seen through the darkness.
At the end of my process, I photograph my assemblages as a way of removing my hands from the work and documenting it’s completion. While photographing my work, it is my intent to capture the narrative of each piece in it’s best possible light and offer the viewer a stark contrast between opposing views of good and evil.
In conclusion, my work is created as a response to the conflict between humans and our industrial landscape. My assemblages are a reflection of my culture and my daily environment. My work depicts the current industrial landscape appearing in a new light and merges this movement with the awakening of man’s intelligence in order to form new views of time and space. Through this artistic process of accumulation, modification and construction, I emphasize the cycle of life and death, physical and spiritual, creation and destruction while transgressing religious, social, political, economic and environmental mores.
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