COVID-19 is the mother of invention
Some notes about the works on paper:
Rescuing items from the street is second nature for me. Thinking back on this, I am certain it was my maternal grandparents who instilled in me this sense of thrift and resourcefulness. We never left their house without first having jammed plastic bags into our pockets…just in case we encountered something intereesting (or better yet, redeemable) on our walks.
Like most New Yorkers, my preferred method of transit is my feet. Eyes on the ground, you’d be amazed at what you can find. My favorite items to collect are the steel bristles from street sweepers. I’ve lost count of how many I have.
In addition to providing me the actual materials with which I make these works, the streets of NYC are an unending source of visual inspiration. Sidewalks, buildings, roadways, walls. I am particularly drawn to moments that reveal the hardness of urban infrastructure softening and giving way to time, wear, and the natural processes that govern us all. The indelible fingerprints we've left on the world, even these eventually transform into something new and beautiful—an unintended collaboration between humankind and that which we try to control.
Initially I was experimenting with white vinegar and lemon juice as the rust catalysts. The results were promising albeit fragrant.
I started investigating the how and why of the process of rusting (oxidation), and was fascinated by the idea that the stains left behind were in effect the iron in a liberated form. With each successive “printing,” a little more of the metal was transferred from the original form to the fibers of the paper. In essence, the marks are one with the paper. Destruction cycling to creation.
I was hooked.