The fantastical profusion and power of the wild world, the exuberant weed cracking the sidewalk, landscapes that might be primordial, post-apocalyptic, or leaked from some parallel dimension, these have long been at the heart of my work. We are both estranged from and connected to these worlds—unions and collisions are explosive, fracturing landscapes.

I generally work with collaged images as grounds: laser prints, photos, magazine and book pages. I might bury them, but I feel their call-and-response with the paint. The picture plane is often in flux, the images may be a slow burn, but they are always the provocation for the brushstrokes around and over them: circular cutouts of the landscape of a Bronx cemetery ("Chain of Being"); fractured landscapes accidentally pocket-shot, raindrops on a feather ("A Weed Can Crack the Sidewalk"); a moss-covered tabletop in sun and shadow ("Shine On"); waves of evergreens in the NY Botanical Garden, close-up portraits of scarlet kale (“Sky Events”); birds' legs and tails as roots under a calendar-cutout sky ("Underworld"); a river crashing through fluorescent-light reflections in a grocery store ("Upstream"); an urban hedge sprouting frozen beer bottles ("Down Pour").

The "Pandemic Cemetery" series originated during the Covid-19 lockdown. I live in walking distance of Woodlawn Cemetery, in the Bronx, and drawing there with another painter, masked and distanced, created a sense of freedom in a compressed situation. Pencils, colored pencils, charcoal, pastels, ink, markers, crayons—the contents of all the coffee cans in my studio came into play, along with ideas about memory, legacy, life and death. How we will look back on this time, and how it will change us.

“The Corpses” is an ongoing collaborative collage series with poet Ian Ganassi, who I met when we were artists in residence at the Millay Colony. The series is a convergence of text, drawing, painting, and found objects that we've been mailing back and forth between NYC and New Haven, Connecticut, since 2005. To date, there are more than 300 finished pieces, with work in progress often in transit. (Website link in categories list.)

The “Books” series has woven through my studio life, reflecting my attraction to found materials as well as thoughts about the book as record. The pieces have become something of a journal—fired clay from a Philadelphia clay studio, scrap wood collected while scrounging around the not-yet-gentrified Lower East Side, found objects from the NYC streets. My ongoing immersion in collage and mixed media finds its most solid expression in these pieces. Many of the titles play with my affection for years of paperbacks I cannot part with.

It's all material: Working in the studio in tandem with pre-existing images and found objects transforms the world into material. Always in view—no matter the media—is that click of significance, when some thing becomes something entirely else: Richard Dreyfuss shaping mashed potatoes in Close Encounters, insisting, “This means something.”