I begin just after midnight. First, gathering both vacuum cleaners in the house. The Shopvac is kept in the basement along with a collection of six attachments. Tonight I will only need the extension hose, and the modified detailing tip. The Hoover Wind Tunnel is stored in the office upstairs. The bag less catch is empty, and as I make my way up the stairs I remember recently bleaching the hoses and filter. I am home alone, and proceed knowing I will not disturb anyone. Next I begin running warm water into a white plastic bucket. One ounce of bleach is added and I immediately shut off the water. I precede upstairs to change out of my black jeans.
There are twenty-eight cupboard doors and six pullout drawers in the kitchen. I will begin at the top by systematically removing the contents of each and temporarily storing them on a small plastic table that I've placed in the center of the room. There are six types of flour in the cupboard to the right of the sink. Many of the bags were not sealed properly and a mix of coconut and almond flour coats much of the bottom shelf. The Shopvac will easily take care of this issue, but I will have to spend an unnecessary amount of time finding secure packaging and relabeling the contents of each. Once complete, the flour is placed back into the cupboard; properly labeled and color-coded with the darkest flour on the bottom. Canned foods are alphabetized and faced forward. The tallest cans are placed on the left most side, and the shortest on the right. Plates and bowls that I notice are being used less often are placed higher and more out of reach. The three dull pencils in the junk drawer are re-sharpened in the basement and placed back into position.
I begin with the Hoover, switch to the Shopvac, and finally finish with the Hoover to complete the cleaning of the floor.The Hoover's bag less catch is emptied but not totally clean. I will make a mental note. The faucet position is placed perpendicular to the edge of the granite countertop. I lower my body slightly to check for water spots on the counter and notice that I have forgotten to properly clean the power outlet cover nearest to the stove. I retrieve a headlamp from the junk drawer and return the Shopvac back to the basement. The kitchen breaker is turned to the off position and under the glow of the headlamp I finish cleaning a small splatter of olive oil off of the outlet cover.
I also make paintings.
My friend, six months of a beard upon his face, had just flown back from Georgia, the last stop after hiking the entire Appalachian Trail. I picked him up at the airport and, after the hug, the small talk, after the moments when he had my eyes to concentrate upon, the fear set in, the anxiety; I watched his head snap to attention at the slightest movement. To me, it was the usual airport motion. To him, it was as if he saw strangers firing shotguns at the ceiling. The barrage was too much, the information, the quick succession, and for the week he stayed in my apartment I would often catch him with his eyes closed dreaming far off dreams back toward desolation.
I do not have the luxury of escape. In this century, in this moment, few of us do. Information piles up: the advertisements, the mechanisms, the media, the people. I am attached to it, in the midst of it, a part of it. However, as a painter, I am also a witness and a reactionary. My paintings are manifestations of the same barrage my friend shied away from. The paintings speak of information explosions, where an entire environment can be physically contained in a seamlessly presented two-dimensional world. It is a reaction to the age of technology we find ourselves living in. The way we look at, perceive, and process ideas has changed, and because of that, because of what the viewer brings to the experience, these painting could not have been created in any other time. This is not so much a comment on myself as it is the viewer. They now have the ability to take in numerous ideas and aesthetic techniques all at once as a consequence of their everyday lives. What I am doing is letting the ideas fall in a frozen plane, allowing for further investigation.