Artist Statement (1993)

P-93-05WebFrom China – 1993

Stamped and cancelled envelopes are the subject matter of my most recent work. The stamp images grew from earlier work with commonplace objects such as stationery and invoices, and developed from my fascination with the grid layout and printer’s color-separation key at the edge of a sheet. For me, stamps are everyday objects that suggest a world of correspondence reaching beyond national, racial and cultural boundaries, while still serving as cultural icons reflecting the image a people projects of itself. I paint some in detail, others are only fragments in both real and imagined colors, suggesting a picture or indicating the whole. Some are blank, heightening visual tension and creating blank space to be filled by imagination. What isn’t there is just as important tome as what is.

Cancellation marks also move freely around the canvas in various shades and rhythms, as do whole and partial envelopes and postcards. These fragments or details allude to communication and disclose surrealistic overtones of longing, distance and absence in their partial addresses. Source material comes from my life. My personal history is revealed by bits of envelopes and postmarks form my family and friends.

I create an ambiguous balance of form and empty space, the familiar and the foreign, depth and the flat plane, symmetry and asymmetrical shape, by noticing ordinary objects and transforming them into icons for contemplation.