Scape 3 (Mars), 2022. Terrazzo, wood, MDF, resin, alginate, silicone, spray paint, saw dust, gems, rocks, tile. 5 x 9 3/4 x 4 3/4 inches.
The series of small sculptural assemblages titled Scapes takes the form of minute objects arranged on rectangular stones of marble, terrazzo, granite, or dolomite. Related to the high-polish finish of glossy interior design ads and elaborate department store displays, these stones shimmer with the polished surface of gemstones under a lapidary saw. Within a broader context, they serve as both specimen trays and outré plates of a culinary-gastronomical arrangement of delights. Over the slick substrates are laid a bevy of found debris, replete with savory and occasionally unpleasant textures, hues, and unexpected materials that call to mind the crannies of the studio and the enigmatic forms of the natural world.
Scape 7 (Sea), 2022. Terrazzo, wood, rock, sea shells, citrine, brass, faux far, foam, air brush paint, tiles. 3 x 10 x 5 inches.
The remnants of the studio include sawdust and other wooden odds and ends collected from working on the lathe and jigsaw, as well as chips of drying paint formed in the bottom of a plastic cup, resin spills with swirling pigments, and a stray ping pong ball doused in spray paint. From the natural world, there are pebbles and fish bones culled from Situationist dérives through the city and its surroundings, as well as tackier, New Age ephemera of adventures to tourist destinations, from the selenite crystal found in Malibu and the pink quartz tower received from an ex to the seashell with barnacles discovered on the shores of a bay in Amagansett, Long Island, and even a hotel bracelet saved from a week of quarantine in the Bahamas. Handmade and painted carvings reiterate the symbols of the studio and street as with recreations of a two-prong electrical plug, multiple snakes, the familiar plastic outline of a sushi grass garnish, and a cartoon cloud.
The works riff variously on scale, the relationship between micro- and macroscopic, and the elevation of objects to the status of symbols. A blade of grass from a sushi container grows larger than the nearby potted plant, while the ping pong ball on a dowel is both similar to a highway restaurant sign and a wispy blue-and-white vision of the Earth seen from space. There are other deconstructions of the land and landscape here, combining the stark elements of an architectural model with the simplicity of raked sand and rock arrangements from a Zen garden.
As with a childhood collection of found objects, each element of the sculpture has a story of its origin. In gathering remnants of daily work and imbuing them with significance, the series opposes an ideology of consumerism, waste, and a culture of constantly throwing out the old in favor of the new. This attention to refuse and debris belies the role of imperfection within harmony—that the precision and exactitude found in store displays and inventory spreadsheets is a façade constructed overtop of a messy and disorganized world. These sculptures point to a balance between the ideal image and the entropic way things tend to fall apart.
Scape 6 (Plug), 2022. Marble, white sand, pebbles, plywood, MDF, acrylic, airbrush paint, mod podge. 4.25 x 9.5 x 4 inches.
Scape 5 (Cloud), 2022. Marble, plexi, mdf. flock, acrylic. 5.5 x 13 x 4 inches.
The presence of detritus underfoot alongside skewered snakes, harvested shells and pearls, and the gemstones extracted from the earth point toward decay and a finality to animal and human life. The natural history museum with its taxidermied displays occasionally comes to mind, while the skeletal jawbone of a fish alongside glossy and brightly-hued confections recalls the finality of a Dutch still life. Mortality appears frequently through the somber connotations of marble as headstone or gravemarker: a yellow-hued stone lined with golden pearls and a red velvet cushion functions as a tomb while the repetition of pebbles placed on top of stones and plinths recalls the Jewish tradition of placing pebbles on a grave. In the age of medically-extended lifespans, the disconnected plug becomes a symbol of mortality.
Scape 10 (Fossil), 2023. Granite, plaster mold of a found squiggly plastic straw, pebbles, lava rock. 1 x 6 x 4 inches.