There is a Place: My first impression of living and driving in Los Angeles, besides getting constantly lost, was the absolute anonymity by which one moves through this city. It occurred to me that one has the ability to create or be whoever one chooses to be. In other words, one can leave one’s past behind, if so desired. There was no limit by which to define one’s life and whatever one’s leanings, one can find a community of like-minded people. Anything is possible? This open mindset, which I think is specific to Los Angeles, sets free an amazing amount of energy and hope as much as it is daunting.
In spite of its huge population Los Angeles feels less metropolitan than much smaller cities with dense urban centers. It is a vast multitude of cities and suburbs that connect uninterrupted across miles and miles of land; each neighborhood defined by its individual characteristics, forming their own urban microcosm. Moving your home within Los Angeles can amount to changing one’s life. Building community in this city is difficult. Loneliness is pervasive. Commuting is essential to achieve anything. For many owning a car is more crucial than having a place to live. Many have neither. Statistics state a third of all households consist of only one person. People tend to move in and out of each other’s lives easily, often relationships stay superficial and fleeting. Then, to varying degrees depending on where you live, we have problems with crime. Los Angeles is lined with beaches, some have never seen them, while few own their own stretch. Smog is worst in summer. There is a constant risk of earthquakes and an ever-increasing problem with wildfires and drought. Los Angeles is surrounded by the ocean, mountains, parklands, and deserts. The sun is typically shining and snow is hardly known. Many of its inhabitants develop a love-hate relationship with the city. If we don’t leave, reasons that keep us here are diverse, just like Los Angeles itself, complex and multifaceted.
Today’s contentious and divisive political atmosphere inspired this project as a visual response to integrate and commemorate urban diversity. Observing the contrasting lives found in the vastly differing neighborhoods of Los Angeles I seek out moments to create a visual place of quiet and an elusive sense of connection in spite of the disparities. Here, the discrepancies of urban culture are offset in stillness as if the diverging flow comes to a temporary pause.
This series takes visual inspiration in the Light and Space movement that originated in Southern California in the 60’s. As such transparent and reflective windows are mixed with multilayered compositions and images accentuated by urban fences. The street scenes and urban landscapes are found along many road trips across Los Angeles as I traverse the sprawling cityscape. The work balances the disparities and contradictions of the city by juxtaposing them with experiences of light, color and lines as a form of abstraction from the dividing force of city life.
Lambdas: Light, like water, is essential to our life; however, different from water, light is intangible. The Lambda project explores the eternal and yet fleeting aspect of light. In capturing movement and using selective focus details are obscured and elusive sketches of light and dark emerge. As I trace a world beyond our perception, I feel drawn to the unknown - that part of existence, which is not measurable and rests within mystery and the imagination. Wind is the author of motion in this work as the world is in constant flux from one moment to the next 'ad infinitum.' Wind and light intertwine in a dance of element and energy.
Sea Etchings: In the series Sea Etchings, I search for musical nuances within the landscape. Less concerned with a literal interpretation, the work speaks to an intangible sensation perceived about the subject matter. Photographed over several years along the coast of Southern California, each image is a study in patience as I wait for each composition to arise of itself only to be washed away again in an instant. The grass and the sea alone create these 'temporary etchings' captured in their momentary and fleeting existence. Reminiscent of gesture drawings my interest lies within a playful experience of the moment by giving pause to expressions of joy, beauty, lightness, innocence, and mystery.
Desert Lines: The work Desert Lines considers the presence of opposites in all things. Erosion has rounded and softened the rock formations displaying feminine and sensual lines. Soft overcomes hard as stone yields to water.
Seascapes: The Seascapes portray a series of meditations upon the feminine energy found in the natural world. The ancient Greek recognized water as the original matter of the universe, the source of everything. In Genesis water is the original element of creation: a prerequisite for life to develop. In Taoist tradition earth as water is the ultimate Yin symbol, representing the feminine principle. Oceans cover nearly three-fourths of the earth's surface. These meditations pay tribute to our great mother.