I've spent the past 6 or 7 months explaining to people the ideas I tried to express in 30mph Zone, my April show at Gustavus Adolphus College. The conversations have ranged from 3 hours to 3 sentences, and I think I've finally found good words that include all the ideas I've been thinking about, and exclude the ideas that I'm not as interested in. It has been cool to revisit some of the ideas that earlier work was hinting at (Why I started doing cityscapes in the first place, and all the work that I created while studying in London) and editing those to fit with the new goals that I want my work to achieve.
I've been thinking about how buildings and cities function as oases that we pass into and out of, and protect us from the inconvenience/discomfort that the natural world provides. More recently I've been reading about injustice, and thinking and writing about how this influences the way I move through these constructed environments (physical constructions and constructed systems). My coworker mentioned that my June 28 post, Identity was interesting to read and think about in relation to what my paintings are about. I've been thinking about how I can incorporate race and social justice into my practice, but without just pointing at it and that comment made me realize that my work is kind of sitting right next to inequality and systemic racism. I've been documenting my journey through this time in America as a black man. It's not terribly interesting or oppressed, but once I learn enough to document other people's journeys, something interesting but still visually interesting could happen.
The comment also sent me on a mental tangent a little bit and gave me a new way to think about inside/outside or within/without: within is everything that is you, and without is your surroundings, or everything else that exists. instead of the oasis being a city or a building, the ultimate oasis is ones self. I'm excited to think about identity and its relationship to environment, and how individual identities move through the physical world.
Since I keep talking about it, take a look at the statement for 30mph Zone. I'll be posting photos from the show soon.