Trace Psychedelia (2011-2012)

Distinctions between painting and photography have been discussed and debated since photography itself emerged as a medium. Rather than continue this competition between the two media, “Trace Psychedelia” is a body of work that creates a dialogue and a platform for an interaction to take place.

These images are a visceral response to the drastic change of environment I experienced in the year I began making them. In 2010 I drove across the U.S. after 28 years of living in New York City and moved to Portland, Oregon. Change launched an experiential overload of intensified sensory perception. Everything was alive, covered in a thick sheath of green, dripping with moisture. I was drawn to marks in the landscape, evidence of my neighbors, traces of their presence. The photographs I took are documentations of these marks. As such, they exist as physical traces, indexes of that which they refer to.

I apply paint to the surface of the printed photograph as a way to leave my own mark upon it, baring the trace of my hand. This gesture draws attention to the tactile nature of the photographic print and presents the viewer with a barrier by blocking the experience of the photograph as a transparent medium. The viewer is prohibited from immediately looking past the surface of the photograph to its content. The photo and the paint work together as iconic media, conveying ideas about the things they represent by imitating them through constructed resemblances.

In the last step of the process, I photograph the painted photographic prints and make a digital inkjet print. The resulting image is a photograph that refers directly to its predecessor, acting as a final trace of its previous form.

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