This body of work started in the summer of 2013 at the Jentel Artist Residency. Driving from Baltimore to Wyoming, I spent many hours looking at the landscape moving by and thinking about its history and transformation in the time that people have claimed ownership of it. Heading west, there is a sense of an ever increasing scale – it’s hard not to feel somewhat romantic and nostalgic about it –even if it is marked by billboards, signs, old oil drilling rigs, scorched hillsides, and miles of fences claiming ownership of it all.
As a body, these new paintings have a sense of conflated meaning. They imply the sublime and the history of landscape painting, while acknowledging the melancholic cycles of infrastructure and decay. Parallel to these ideals, I wanted to explore the more consumer oriented act of travel photography and tourism. In these conditions, what would be considered a landmark? l was interested in this term for the duality of its meaning as both a marker as well as a destination or place – it can indicate both where we are or where we want to go. It can be a point of reference in space but also an event or point in time, such as a turning point or a moment of discovery. In this context I could draw connections between the personal and the societal, the past and the present, the functional and the futile. With current political issues over water and energy resources, as well as what has felt like increasing severe weather and steadily rising environmental concerns, I wanted to incorporate the conflicting visual vocabulary that marks the land we live on and utilize. These are also our landmarks, they mark our occupation and use of the land, they mark a location, they will mark a moment in time - perhaps a turning point.