Portrait by Chad Wagner (2018)

Portrait by Chad Wagner (2018)

Writing was my first love, drawing my second, and acting my third. The three practices lend themselves to one another in a fluid conversational give and take. Several weeks spent meditatively drawing inevitably leads into an intense period of noise making- singing loudly, plunking on a piano, reading scripts out loud, speaking to friends and strangers that I have been withdrawn from for weeks. It feels at this point that I wouldn’t know how to have one without the others, that they influence each other so directly that a week spent making music feels sometimes like a warm up for the drawing that comes from whatever rhythm held me captive for that period. This can at times feel like I am pulled in several directions at once, but ultimately it creates a rich base from which I draw inspiration in my various creative pursuits.

For the past two decades I have turned my love for pen and paper into a dedicated practice. Each of my drawings develops like a conversation. The only rule I follow is that I do not erase. I make a choice with a line/dot/dash/pattern, I observe what is forming, and then I make another choice. I have to live with each development; I don’t plan. Density takes shape and white space, which is active and in partnership with the ink, is preserved. In truth, there is a lot of staring, a lot of waiting. I start other pieces to distract myself. I come back, I stare more, imagining the change in composition if the balance of the whole piece shifted to the left or right. Sometimes no more drawing is needed and all I have to do is turn the paper. With one flip I have an image I didn’t even know I was making.

In late 2015 I recruited my Father, a brilliant wood worker, to build 9.5 foot long maple frames spread out across 10 feet, anchored into place by large walnut beams, with 5 distinct redwood pieces left raw and unfinished to hang from the uneven shape of the frames. One continuous drawing was made that stretches across the length of the panels. The piece, titled “Reunion” and commissioned by Covo, a coworking space in San Francisco that caters to the design community, was installed in June 2016. In all it was 8 months of planning, 6 more months and 1000 hours of drawing, and three trips from NY to California to source just the right salvage redwood. This piece has inspired my next wave of work which will explore the contrast and compliment of raw wood textures against stark pen and ink abstraction.

I work from a wonderful studio at The Old American Can Factory in Gowanus, Brooklyn. I welcome commissions and collaborations and visitors wholeheartedly!


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