Next Zip Show: May 9 – 25, 2014
In addition to working as a graphic/web design artist for an educational nonprofit, I help run an art gallery, Kanon Collective, on Santa Fe Drive with my friends, and try to spend the remainder of my free time (ha) working in my studio. I am also a member of Zip37 gallery in the Navajo art district. Much of the work I do stems from my love of photography and working with digital art. I love the freedom of digital photography because I no longer have to worry about the cost of film and processing — now I just take pictures of everything that catches my eye, and if I end up with three photos out of a hundred that look good, all I’ve wasted is a bit of hard drive space.
The process of creating many of my pieces involves transferring the photos onto surfaces using a heavy acrylic gel medium. I sometimes create textures and colors on the surface beforehand, that end up showing through the transferred photos. In addition, I also like to add different pigments, inks and found objects to the resin I use to coat the finished pieces. This creates a three-dimensional image that appears to float in the middle, often creating shadows through the crackle texture that happens as a result of the pigment in the photo paper reacting with the water in the acrylic gel. The final images end up not really looking like photographs at all and the image becomes the focus of the piece. I tend to gravitate toward images with bright colors and strong contrast, with subject matter ranging from flowers to graffiti to street signs.
I also have another series of works involving melted candy. These pieces started with a simple Tootsie Pop wrapper — I was amazed at how it hadn’t changed since I was a kid. I decided I wanted to make something out of the wrappers. As I started collecting them and experimenting with them, I realized that I had all these leftover lollipops and I didn’t know what to do with them. Then it dawned on me that they could be used in my art as well. I began experimenting with creating sculptures and eventually came around to melting them together. They look so beautiful and glass-like when you melt them and the surface becomes completely smooth. In addition to Tootsie Pops, I added Dum Dums and Jolly Ranchers to the mix as well — mango Dum Dums smell so good when they’re melted.Â In order to preserve these pieces, I coat them with many layers of resin, which also intensifies the colors. My first pieces were purely abstract, but then I had the idea to create the Twister board for the Modernism show — it seemed like a perfect combination of two things I loved from my childhood. Since then, I have expanded to include video game icons from my childhood as well, such as Pac Man and Space Invaders. As time consuming as these pieces are, I must say — they are made with the best-smelling art supplies ever.
I received a Bachelor of Arts in Film from BYU and a Master’s of Humanities from the University of Colorado at Denver, where I also taught for two years as an adjunct professor in the Multimedia and Fine Arts department.