gouache and watercolor on Arches cover black paper
25" x 19"
The Walls series, of which Cells 2 is a part, includes both small gouache paintings on black paper and wall-sized oil-stick works on black-gessoed canvas. The first of the series of small gouache paintings, Whitewash, is my response to the lyrics to a song by Berthold Brecht, Song of the Whitewash: Look, theres another unpleasant stain on the wall . So its whitewash we need to keep things covered up until a later date . In my day job as a court interpreter, I see a lot of the ugly cracks hidden from the public, and the image intrigued me. I paint the bare bones (sometimes literally) of walls, in gouache on black paper, which I then cover with my own white gouache and watercolor whitewash.
I also build much larger walls of overlapping figures, and of their absence, using oil stick to outline paper masks and stencils that I tape temporarily to the canvas. As I use and re-use the paper silhouettes, they become torn and mutilated, and I am now installing them on real walls and lighting them to emphasize the way they emerge from the surface. I have also worked using paper silhouettes and wheat paste, pasting them directly to a large outdoor wall, as part of the O+ Festival in Kingston, New York.
My work as an interpreter has also influenced my work in more direct ways. I have recently finished production of a handmade artists book, with an edition of fifty copies, in which I examine issues of immigration and of incarceration, telling stories of immigrants and their experiences with the US criminal justice system.