Thursday, February 20, 2014

Tell Me Your Muddy Little Secrets

In May 2010 I was paddling a canoe upstream in a marsh near Lyndhurst, NJ. I was accompanied by my brother who, like me, was physically exhausted from fighting an extremely brutal outgoing tide in the New Jersey Meadowlands. I suddenly realized two important things. One, it is one step below impossible to paddle against outgoing tides in the Meadowlands. Those tides mean business. The other is marshes that are filled in with garbage to make new land will be disgusting forever.

I've been accused of being negative and a pessimist. My art focuses on things that are not exactly pleasant. They are things regular folks would rather not be reminded of, but I can't help it. I am not denying this. But I also can't deny that things like this are my passion, and passion is what one needs to make art, whether that passion is for unicorns and rainbows, or degradation and filth.

The Muddy Little Secrets series I did in 2011 was conceived in that moment on that canoe trip in 2010. I saw first hand what becomes of garbage in a landfill, and what becomes of garbage in a landfill when the people who put it there try and pretend that it isn't there. The people who created the garbage also pretend it isn't there, or at the very least, don't know its there or where it goes once it leaves their home, other than that it goes into trash cans and gets placed curbside, is picked up by sanitation workers, and disappears forever into a truck.

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