Entrapolis was created in 2010. The structure is mainly a repurposed stage set intended for TV production.
I painted the entire piece, over 500 square feet, in under 3 months.
The name Entrapolis is a combination of Entrapment and Metropolis. Metropolis was the theme of Burning Man in 2010.
The upper level of the outside was designed to blend in with the landscape of the playa. (I was just guessing here, seeing as 2010 was my first visit to the Black Rock Desert. Seems like it matched up pretty well.)
The lower level (below the surface?) expresses two aspects of humanity. One side deals with industrialism; oppression, slavery, environmental destruction, war, industrial pollution, greed, violence. The other side represents a more peaceful aspect, connected to nature.
(These photos are of the work in progress.)
All of these qualities are exemplified in the city; an artificial, polluted environment with a dramatic difference in quality of life between the haves and have-nots. The modern city is the culmination of humanity's past. Thus, this side of the piece leads in to the city.
The inside shows a gritty cityscape with menacing and dejected figures.
But there is always another choice...
The other side tells another story. Its images show harmony with nature and each other.
And it ends on an inspiring note: "We are the hope for the future."
Tree of Life
Tree of Life was created in 2011. After the birth of my son, the differences between what it means to be male and what it means to be female weighed heavily on my mind. I felt the need to create a piece that spoke of the lack of respect for the feminine and the suffering we endure. When I preserved the placenta in alcohol, the dichotomy of such a a primal and natural thing immersed in chemicals caused me to reflect on the prevalence of man-made chemicals in our environment and in our bodies. The connections between the worldwide oppression of women and the pollution of mother earth were too obvious and compelling to not join them together in this piece. It is the same mentality that creates both tragedies.
Woman is giver of life. The pregnant woman in this sculpture is half tree, symbolizing her connection to the life giving earth.
This photo was taken in my driveway, aka my studio. There's a real estate office below my apartment. I am grateful to have a landlady who tolerates my art supplies being strewn about willy nilly, and brightly lit preserved placenta beacons shining on the neighborhood.
This is a close up of the belly while the piece was still in progress. I preserved the placenta by putting it in alcohol in a large round glass jar, then sealing the top with aquarium sealant. It hung out in the freezer for a couple of months before I had time to preserve it. Still in good shape almost a year later! It is lit from beneath by an LED light that came from a decommissioned stop light.
The work in progress! This piece was constructed from paper mache on a PVC and wire frame, mounted on scrap wood. I used a lot of old newspapers I had lying around, and organic flour from the bulk bins. I picked up the wire from the dump. At the end, she was painted with some old gesso I had lying around. I then added relevant images and newspaper headlines (i.e. "Chemicals Found in Pregnant Women," a photo of birth with the baby's head emerging) and covered her with some extra waterproofing liquid.
For obvious reasons (namely a four month old baby), I was not able to attend Burning Man. So I wrapped her up in some blankets and strapped her to the top of an unwitting craigslist ridesharer's station wagon bound for San Francisco, from where she was transported to the playa. She had a similar ride back from Reno on top of a purple van. They told me they were pulled over and got to say something along the lines of, "it's not a dead body up there, officer, just a placenta."
I'm glad she survived.
Looks like she had a good time.