October 18, 2018
313 Occidental Ave, Seattle WA 98104
I am pleased to announce my first solo exhibition in Seattle at the Koplin Del Rio. These new drawings began in 2015. I had just finished a rather dark and humorous series entitled The Last that depicted portrait skulls of the final representatives of various occupations (clown, writer, artist, politician, etc.). When my father’s Alzheimer’s and declining health required that I take a more active role in his care, I began to make regular extended visits. When stimulated by looking at stack of old family photographs, my father told stories about his life that I began to illustrate in my small sketch book. These sketches became the origin for The Erasing.
I have never thought much about the role memory plays in the preservation and continuity of one’s identity. As an artist who witnessed the waning of my father’s personhood through the dissolution of his memory, I wrestled with the question of how to convey the devastating personal and human experience of memory loss without relying on visual clichés.
The final image in my drawings is largely the result of the pentimenti that moved the narrative along but did not resolve it. Sometimes, instead, the layers of earlier drawings overpowers the last, like quicksand under a surface of marks and erasures.
Those unresolved drawings, with stratum of partially rendered scenes and gestures, were the visual and technical cues for the Erasing series. The frustration of trying to define what was unformed yet intimated by what appeared earlier, the back-and-forth process of drawing in and erasing out, having an idea or image revealing itself one minute only to fall back into obscurity the next, mimicked what I saw happen to my father in his heroic effort to recognize in the moment his own narrative.
This series is the result of my final collaboration with my father. As with his memories, only the ghosts are left.