I am increasingly attracted to photography, which I’ve been using over many years to create a kind of sketchbook of abstract forms taken from the urban and technological environment we now inhabit. Close-ups of the painted lines on airport tarmacs, subway seats, and construction fencing are some of the things I am drawn to. Seen properly, these things have more strangeness and beauty than we think when we rush by them. By presenting them out of context and away from natural forms, these photos seem to re-enchant a seemingly hard and standardized world. I believe what one student wrote on a wall during the 1968 Paris demonstrations, “underneath the pavement – the beach.”
Fun, 1999, felt tip marker, aluminum tape, acrylic on paper, 50x38x3.5 inches
One challenge of the installation was to embrace the complexity of the architectural space. “Out of the Corner of My Eye” covers the entire 107-ft. “boomerang” wall and includes ten 8-ft. tall glass windows I designed. It can be seen from several vantage points, all offering different perspectives: from outside the building, inside the lobby, and from the computer library. From the library, for example, the piece is experienced solely as a glass artwork, creating an environment that is part aquarium and part virtual reality. Since much of my work combines drawing, sculpture, painting, and installation, I wanted to retain the same hybrid feel in this public work of art. “Out of the Corner of My Eye” is both two and three-dimensional, combining wood, paint, glass, and Nida –Core, thus maintaining a dialogue between the handmade and the machine-made.
Out of the Corner of My Eye, (Detail), 2009, Wood, MDF, Nida-Core, Acrylic Paint, Glass, 11ft x 112ft x 4 inches (room 2000 sq. feet)