The Forests of My Gaze
These works explore shapes in the natural world which fascinate me. All the forms in
these drawings are ones I’ve observed during walks in the nature reserve near my home, but
I’ve rearranged them into forests of my imagination. The drawings express the presence of nature, gazing back at us—with curiosity? suspicion? blame? indifference?—as we gaze at it.
The works follow the changes of the forest from season to season while exploring the
species of trees, fungi, insects, and animals found in southern New York. Some of the pieces explore the personal journey of a tree, from being struck by lightning, through slow decay while being taken over by fungi and molds, to shredding in the final hairs of cellulose on the forest floor. The places where I walk are amidst densely populated suburban areas just outside of NYC.
Often, one can hear the noise of traffic and smell the exhaust, as well as see traces of garbage negligently left behind. Yet, the encounter with the natural space is a deeply significant one. Walking through the forest is, for me, a profoundly visual experience. The textures of tree bark bleed into one another and break apart into individual tree silhouettes, interrupted by the outrageous yellows and greens of the fungi. Deer and the occasional coyote appear, silent and watchful, then fade away.
As an artist, I am interested in abstracting these forms and shifting their context to emphasize the sheer beauty of the colors, textures, and patterns, rearranging them to represent the perceptual reality of my experience of the forest—the forest of my gaze.