Empty Your Pockets
The sudden shock of losing my father in an automobile accident at a young age has deeply influenced my life and art. I grapple with what a “death on impact” means for those who experience it. There are so many unknowns, and countless questions following such a tragedy. Empty Your Pockets explores my pursuit of understanding that traumatic event and the complex emotions that come with it.
Each painting and drawing should be viewed as a memento representing a singular moment. However, the works hang in a tight formation as a collective. The pieces’ fine lines and subtle shifts in color invite the viewer to come closer and look deeper into each particular image. The scale of each drawing and painting is small enough to fit in one’s hand and the images float on the page without a shadow to ground themselves. One tightly rendered painting is of a dead bird, whose cause of death is unknown to me is surrounded by images of objects—drawn in orange colored pencil—that I find when I empty my pockets each day. The image of the bird symbolizes my father and the drawings of orange pop tabs, rocks, pennies, a nut, and framing nails, represent emotions that I carry with me daily. Together, these colored pencil drawings and painting highlight the unique clarity and confusion that comes with a traumatic passing of a loved one, and the sorting through moments of one’s own life in the aftermath.
Continuing my investigation of intimately scaled and detailed imagery, my hope is that the viewer may sense the isolation, innocence, and painful beauty I find when visually processing the grief connected to an instantaneous tragedy.