The Bushwick Paintings
For the past five years I have had a studio in Bushwick. This Brooklyn neighborhood is a mixture of gritty manufacturing and urban decay whose revitalization has been fueled in recent years by an influx of artists and immigrants. The landscape is forbiding. Abandoned houses stand alone in fields of rubble. Shoes dangle from wires above the street in macabre clumps. Morning glories intertwine with barbed wire on the perimeter of junk yards. Graffiti is everywhere.
This odd landscape possesses a simultaneous allure and menace that I take as the starting point for my paintings. I gather data from the lexicon of mundane images in my environment and reimagine them in dream-like settings. Neighborhood staples such as satellite dishes, barbed wire, and graffiti tags are juxtaposed with candy-colored skies, out-of-focus imagery, dark silhouettes, and painterly surfaces. The paintings represent my love affair with the neighborhood and an outsider’s homage to it. My aim is to portray an urban dystopia in all of its hostile beauty.