BOTTOM LEFT: Lina, 2018, pastel, gunpowder, charcoal & powdered graphite on paper, 30” x 36”.
BOTTOM RIGHT: Dangerous Threat, 2016, monoprint with hand-stamped type, 19” x 15”.
For over two decades the content my artwork has addressed issues of social concern. It primarily explores the mediated experience of global conflict. Working from representation to abstraction, I aim to marry form and content in visually compelling images. Pausing to examine the details of current events, my work is a personal attempt to both humanize these tragedies and to combat the numbing effects of a media-saturated culture.
Typically I work on several projects simultaneously. Drawing with gunpowder and graphite, gouache, blood, embroidery and cut paper, my two dimensional work chronicles our contemporary post 9/11 world. The ongoing seventeen year war in Afghanistan, the clandestine drone program in Pakistan, the Syrian refugee crisis, gun violence and our current political turmoil at home are some of the subjects explored.
Lina 2018 is a pastel, gunpowder & powdered graphite drawing. This work is a companion piece to my video and mixed-media series, Forced to Flee, inspired by one woman’s escape from Syria and her ongoing effort to find a safe home for herself and her family. Our personal connection has humanized the abstraction of this crisis and I hope to communicate her struggle, courage and tenacity with my work. A related series, Dangerous Threat 2017, responds to the current American president’s words about immigration, Syrian refugees and border protection. Layered on black & white monoprints of billowing smoke, hand stamped letters cover the surface with repeated words – danger, security, extreme. The density of the layered words mirrors the confusion and complexity of the threatening language being used.
Another current project examines the words of the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence juxtaposed with news articles about current political and social justice issues that appear contrary to these documents. Using digital and traditional media, I combine form and content to speak about potential threats to democracy and justice for all. Woven I (Constitution-Article 2) 2018, is comprised of woven paper strips. Passages from Article 2 of the Constitution interact with newspaper articles about border security and the separation of immigrant families.
- Elena Lledo, Assistant Director of Chazan Gallery at Wheeler
- Rebecca Szantyr, the former Florence B. Selden Senior Fellow, Department of Prints and Drawings, Yale University Art Gallery
- Carey M. Weber, Assistant Director of Fairfield University Art Museum