In my work the last two semesters, I have been mismatching homogeneity and nature. I mock nature by taking something natural which is beautiful in itself and contains life and all of its unfathomable consequences, and cover it with spray paint and lacquer, or cast it in plastic--“gilding the lily,” if you will. Through art we can imitate, but never reproduce, nature--life itself. I make natural materials smooth and shiny and fabulous like the plastic, manufactured objects that surround us. In this way, I connect my spray painted found wood with my bricolage work. In all of my work there is always a celebration of mass-produced, highly regulated, highly regular objects.
I use these actual mass-produced objects in my bricolage work. For example, take a basket that I use in Energizer Baby--a bright orange, plastic, rectangular bucket that I found at a thrift store. There must have been thousands of them produced, and where are the rest of them? In houses or in thrift stores or in the garbage, I suspect. However, I chose to buy and use this basket for its perfect rectangular prism shape and its perfect and bright color. The color and shape I call “perfect” because of their consistency. The object was surely cast in a mold with the exact right plastic for it to hold its shape, with a consistent amount of pigment used in the plastic in each casting, and you can be sure that every one of these manufactured objects looks exactly the same. This implied guarantee of homogeneity appeals to me because it is only an implication--when you look at the piece you only see one of those homogenous baskets, but you understand that there are probably very many of these baskets all over the world, though you have no idea where these implied copies may be now.
With Malibu Barbie and my other recent work, I make wood look like plastic or some manufactured material. I use found wood which I sand and gesso finely, and apply spray paint and lacquer so the surface appears to be continuous and smooth. Even though these are very labor-intensive, one-of-a-kind pieces, I want them to imitate the perfect, regular, accessible objects that are all around us, in everything from architecture to functional decoration. I want to imply homogeneity while giving the viewer no homogeneity, only using one of the orange baskets or one of any of the found, mass-produced objects, only making one of the wood-transformed-into-plastic pieces. This implication of mass production is meant to direct the viewer to examine the objects they are surrounded by every day for their formal qualities and their origins and intentions.