My newest series is based on the emergence of two ideas and a curiosity in people’s secrets. My first idea was the original concept of exploring a new medium and the second idea was based largely on the concept of process art.
I have seen many artists create art work from old clothing, and it interests me. The first time I saw clothing used as a canvas was when I went to Venice beach in southern California about 10 years ago. I remember a street artist tacking the old shorts on a large piece of wood. The next time I walked by the panel was painted white. And the last time I walked by he had begun to add color. I thought this was interesting. About 5 years after, I decided I’d try the method out. I suppose this interested me because I’m still obsessed.
I started collecting random garments of clothing: old t-shirts, boxers, panties, jeans, sweaters, pajama bottoms, and fancy shirts. You name it I have used it. Many people ask me where I get the clothes from. Some have been donated to me, some I have held on to for years. A few pieces came from old friends and old boyfriends. Each individual piece of clothing has stories to tell. I respect that and enjoy imagining what the story might be. The more I work with these clothes, the more I feel like my work is the illustration of the many untold narratives. My interest in secrets goes back to the phrase “If walls could talk.” If walls could tell so many stories, I could only imagine what our clothes would say.
So I offered the old clothing a voice.
What I like most about working with old clothing is the process. First I weld metal sculptures to create a three dimensional frame. What I like most about welding my armature is that I feel like I am drawing in space. Drawing in space is what allows me the opportunity to visualize the potential of a three dimensional painting. After I have created my frame, I stretch my canvas, gesso the finished product, and begin my under painting. When I begin my under painting I begin painting in three dimensions. Interestingly enough, I think this creates a bit of a discrepancy. I have noticed that once I started these, people began to ask me what I call these “things”. I tell them, “These are paintings. They are not sculptures. More than anything else, these epic novels.”