ABOUT THE WORK
These photographically based works combine tattoos with flora and fauna to evoke our intimate, primordial and sensual connection with all animate beings.
My interest is a visceral narrative embracing ritual, symbolism and identity unified with the fragility of our perishing environment.
I work with nature tattoos, such as animals, serpents, vines, flowers, butterflies and iconography of mythic intent. It is evident in my work that the skin now covered is metaphorizing into an animal creature.
Close ups of the tattoos, floating and penetrating skin, unified with the closely seen botanics are like the film frames that transport us in Wim Wender's poetic film “Wings of Desire”.
Similar to the poetic collages of contemporary artist, Wangechi-Mutu, I explore the displacement of the body and assemble a new order. I explore the desire inherent in tattoos as Robert Mapplethorpe explored bodies. Similar to Irving Penn, I employ the ability of palladium to make tonal distinctions of extreme subtlety.
The darks of palladium, a metal 35 times more rare than gold, reflect light. Working with a translucent, hand made, plant based paper gives the effect and subtlety of skin.
“....For our task is to stamp this provisional, perishing earth into ourselves so deeply, so painfully and passionately, that its being may rise again 'invisibly' in us.”
All of the work is analog and done with a 4X5" camera. Negatives are enlarged to a larger format. Exposure of the negatives to the paper is by the sun. Because the paper absorbs the palladium emulsion, the resulting gradation is perceptible, not only in tone, but in surface depth.