CITY FULL OF STICKS

I question the integrity of materials assumed to be indestructible, and I challenge the histories they intend to represent. I have peeled back the topography of New York City, depicting skyscrapers and monuments in ways that rival the historical claims they attempt to propagate. I have made sculptures out of debris that could be the rubble lying beneath Freshkills Park, Battery Park City, or FDR Drive: chewed-up dog toys, boiled rawhide, plastic bags, displaced gravel, vinegar-soaked eggs, flies stuck in a trap. Built of these often dissolvable — and always disposable — materials, my objects incorporate their own decay; they refuse to be adequately archived.

Of these materials that I’ve listed, rawhide stands out. My enterprise with rawhide began with a glossy glue I made by boiling discarded dog chews. After the dog chews spent eight hours in a crockpot, the water I cooked them in turned viscous, and cooled into a stiff jelly that I could cut into squares. This process yielded both these small squares that dry into hard pellets of glue, and a potful of gelatinous cuts of skin. I found that if I stacked the softened hides and then sliced them lengthwise, the layered material dried to resemble candy ribbon. This became a routine step in my weekly glue-making. If I did not get to this step in time, and the hide was left damp and enclosed, it grew a downy white mold that I learned was saprophytic fungi — I thought it looked like the cow straining to regrow its fur post-mortem.
 


LIMITED LIKE A CIRCLE (LANDFILL’S BELLY)
Made from plastic bags and blue bottle flies, this sculpture was placed into iron-rich mud to be photographed.
A LANDING PAD FOR A HOUSEFLY
A woman attending a Freshkills Park "Open House" grasps two osprey feathers she found at the park. Her sunhat eclipses her head and provides a landing pad for a house fly the size of a bird.


KIDS WITH STICKS #3, MUD FROM THE GRAVE
Found plastic toy, chewed dog toy, miniature bricks made of sand and collagen-based glue, praying mantises, Phragmites, paper Acropolis, plastic, Phragmites sprout, and soil from the planters outside of One Chase Manhattan Plaza.




CITY FULL OF SOIL (ONE CHASE MANHATTAN PLAZA)
Bricks made of collagen-based glue and sand, Phragmites, mold, and hide
I constructed a scale model of One Chase Manhattan Plaza. A translucent dome made of hide glue bubbles from its top. The sculpture’s inside, encrusted with hand dug clay and architectural toys, is illuminated by dangling LED lights. It sits on the backside of a broken diorama. A tiny hide glue figure balances on a wire above the smashed side-view-mirror floor. 



THE WORLD IS BIG, BRIGHT, AND ROUND
Found plastic toy, chewed dog toy, miniature bricks made of sand and collagen-based glue, bricks made of sand and collagen-based glue, praying mantises, Phragmites, wire basket, dried hide candy, plexiglass, hand dug clay

Boiled and dried slices of stacked rawhide cover the amber acrylic base. Light sparkles through these “candies” stored in this open cage, resembling hot embers or gold medallions. These windows, with frames made of miniature cast bricks, have broken window panes made of dried, thin sheets of hide glue.



SPOTTED CAKE TOPPER
Miniature stroller, crushed bee, rawhide, mold, masking tape rolls, collagen-based glue, electric candle, shelf
There are dots of mold on this layered hide. It was cooked for its glue, laid out to cool, cut up and left until dry. The stacked masking tape has dried up too, kept for fifteen years and never used.



CITY FULL OF STICKS, CITY FULL OF STRAW
Graphite on paper

In this city, raindrops turn into shredded banknotes as they hit the ground Same building, same city, but the tower fell over and has begun to sprout Phragmites (an invasive reed that grows on the shores of disturbed wetlands) through its circular windows.



INTO THE WIND, THEY SPOKE OF THIS FRUIT WITH GRIMACES OF DISGUST
Graphite, watercolor, and colored pencil on paper

An imagined public restroom. The user's urine is deposited onto the structure in which it is housed, which rusts away the scaffold and eventually makes it collapse. It is connected to an imagined sewer system where said urine is collected and utilized in the processing of hides.



PERFECT CIRCLES ORGANIZED FROM THE TOP
Graphite, watercolor, and colored pencil on paper



  TREES IN PERFECT CIRCLES ORGANIZED FROM THE TOP
Phragmites, masking tape rolls, and minuature bricks made of sand and collagen-based glue
Model trees mimick landscaped office courtyards bears its Christmas lights (long after winter) along with other unsavory materials.


GREEN BAG OF BONES
Plastic, hide glue, praying mantises


ROOM AS NARROW AS A HALLWAY
Flies, collaged photos



2019 + 2020


FRESHKILLS PARK INTERVIEW/2019