When I was asked to show my work at the US Embassy Tri Mission gallery, I humbly embraced this singular opportunity. As I contemplated the vision of what I would create solely for the halls of this great institution – one theme emerged and stayed with me.
Considering the transience of many diplomats’ locations – changing every two or three years – I desired to create something that was inherently Roman in feeling, a way to abstractly understand the place. Maps are the first concrete understanding of place, a way to visually comprehend what can be overwhelming in a new town. In 2002, coming from my native NYC, where I can navigate with ease by rote, I was truly a foreigner on the streets of my new city.
For the Embassy series, I printed oversized sections of Giambattista Nolli’s Pianta Grande di Roma, 1748 (The Great Map of Rome). He was one of the city’s most definitive and certainly passionate cartographers.
Using paper and acrylic and other media, I created collages over the map prints, removed and added more – layering continuously. Inspired by the street and the natural corrosion of paper posters, ads and street artists’ markings, I aimed to express the evolution of a place through time and memory. (See my hashtag series on Instagram: #romanwallseries for both my documentation and creation of this aesthetic.)
The show resulted in seven site-specific pieces, all on wood panel – some of them found wood panels off the street itself. This installation belies a longing to comprehend and encapsulate that which is ever-changing despite fixed points: the texture of a City and the emotions of creating memories and attachments to it.
Please see this page to view the works and photos from my artist’s talk.
The show is through April 20, 2018, but access is limited. For a special request to view the works, or purchase any of them, please contact me.