2018 Solo show at Maryland Art Place in Baltimore, Md.
We live in a world of time clocks, traffic jams, inescapable commercialism, and overbearing religious ideals. For many people, much of modern life is a struggle to find and maintain some level of fulfillment and happiness—while fending off the continuous voices that tell us what we should think and how we should do things. We are taught to fear everything and fall in line. Some people enable themselves to rise above, but others simply hope for a momentary distraction from the repressive forces of our society. Growing up in a small Maryland town, the traveling carnival that came for a single week every summer was just such a distraction for many families including my own. We would anticipate the sounds, sights, and smells of this miraculous event all year, attending the annual spectacle with an almost spiritual devotion. The social space that the gathering of rides, games and attractions creates is a comforting yet surreal landscape that seems to strike at our inner most desires to be transported from normality. The primal lure of these garish structures draw us in—offering promises of delight and joy like sirens on the sea. We allow ourselves to be seduced, knowing all the while that it is really our money that this beautiful capitalist creation wants.
My work emulates the hypnotic patterns and tidal rhythms of the carnival. I investigate the way that multiple components and systems work together, drifting in and out of synchronicity while striving to maintain the overall continuity of a single organic landscape. I am enthralled by the engineering and technology that goes into the giant machines built to twist, turn and shake us for two minutes—all while we are mesmerized and hypnotized by the bright-blinking and chasing lights. Through sculpture and installation, utilizing programmed lighting technology, I explore the nostalgic and captivating nature of the idealized carnival landscape. While maintaining the impermanent feel of this temporary wonderland, I distill its visual effects and psychological components down to a condensed and refined experience, creating moments where viewers can gather and pay homage via a concentrated dose of electric joy.