Gallery Affiliations: Pentimenti Gallery
In my work, hybrid landscape paintings use images of deserts as a point of departure to investigate the visual and conceptual interplay of smooth and striated spaces. The foundation for my paintings is images captured from 2 films by German director Werner Herzog: Fata Morgana (1969) and Lessons of Darkness (1992). The films are set in the Sahara and Middle East deserts, respectively, and present beautiful, hallucinatory, and at times horrific images of the desert narrated in the former by a creation myth, whereas the latter imagines an oncoming apocalypse. I relate the multivalent potential of Herzog's similar landscapes to the concept of the desert landscape as described by Deleuze and Guattari in their essay "The Smooth and the Striated" in which the desert becomes a site of complex psycho-geography where the vastness of space interacts with processes of occupation and socialization, where decay and regeneration occur simultaneously. I think of my work as an attempt to contemplate social forces and possible realities while engaging in the ongoing dialogue between painting, photography and film.