Throughout 2009-2010, I spent time with the homeless community in Long Beach sketching their portraits. Simultaneously, I began creating small assemblages using a variety of mundane materials found at home. Some of these are made in response to my own thoughts on house and home, while others are made in response to the stories I heard from the homeless community.
A Home for Curtis (2010).
Detergent bottles. 17" x 11" x 5".
Curtis described himself as an “entrepreneur in the recycling business.” When I asked him what or where home was, he said, “The whole world is my neighborhood. The earth is my home.” I imagine Curtis slipping into the box under this city, where there is more room than in any of the buildings.
A Home for Lorenzo (2010).
Wood, paint, chicken bones. 7" x 6" x 2".
Lorenzo had a wonderful face to draw. But he couldn’t see me very well. Cataracts had obscured the vision in his left eye. I wanted to give him a home he could understand through touch - made of vertebrae to give him courage.
A Home for Pearlasita (2010).
Wood, drink umbrellas, plastic toy fencing, paint, toothpicks, net bag, aluminum, tin, plastic lid, shell, ink transfer. 12" x 11" x 4".
Pearlasita would not allow me to draw her. Neither would she allow me to draw or photograph her home: a complex array of umbrellas and tarpaulins which she would haul in her cart down to the beach each day. She was an artist herself, a painter of colorful landscapes - but said her shoulder was bothering her too much to paint now. I haven’t seen her there for several months. I always wondered where she went to spend the night.
A Home for Reggie Ford (2010).
Wood, New Balance running shoe. 13" x 11.5" x 5.5".
Reggie told me, “I’ve got size 15 feet – a friend found me some 15 Nikes – those are hard to come by. I could clean them up a bit and they’ll last a while longer.”
A Jungenish Place to Hide (2010).
Found drawer, rollerblade boot. 26" x 16" x 7".
Questioning whether one is safer by hiding in a place (the drawer), or by concealing one’s identity (the mask).
A Nest for Flaco (2010).
Wood, hair, egg shells, wish bones, plastic dinosaurs, headphone plug. 14" x 16" x 2".
I’ve drawn Flaco twice. The second time he didn’t have his headphones with him, and he explained to me how important they were to help him deal with the noise of the homeless community – a constant jostling and jeering, teasing and shouting, or worse.
Home Stretch (2010).
Found drawer, acrylic paint, string, tea bags, ink transfer. 16" x 19" x 4.5".
Tackling the painful financial and emotional journey of either buying or losing a home.
House Flip (2009).
Praxinoscope animation created using 12 photographic frames depicting the serial flip of a house constructed from a found box. 13" x 10" x 10".
House Trap (2009).
Mouse trap, cheese. 1.5" x 1.5" x 2.5".
Tea House (2009).
Tea bag. 2" x 3" x ½".
Works on Paper
Drawings, watercolours and collages.
Manipulations and transformations.
Public art, dance sets, play with kids.