This painting is perhaps best seen in person, because of its sculptural quality, and because I’ll encourage you to touch this one!
It’s made entirely of found objects, one being the “shelf” which I found on a walk near my house, and the others being pieces of tile flooring, which I found during a swim in Messina, Sicily. They are worn down, like sea glass, and in fact have been in the water since 1908, when an earthquake felled all of the buildings at Messina’s shore. I found a whole bag of this tiles, and didn’t even need to search for them; they’re just there at your feet. Whole hotels’ and buildings’ worth of these artifacts, tumbled into the sea.
That sounds poetic and awful enough for my romantic imagination. But I was thinking about marriage and the sacrifices we all make to keep relationships going. This one starts with a small, yet beautiful, offering. Somehow, that’s not seen or appreciated, or enough. And when that’s the case, there’s another, bigger item that will be offered up next. And then another, that’s more intricate, more beautiful, and bigger, so much so that it’s crowding the edge of the shelf it’s displayed on.
For those who know that my wife is living in Italy for a year, this piece might seem like a direct and angry reflection of that “sacrifice”. In fact, this was created earlier, maybe even before we began talking about that particular adventure. For sure, there is some hopelessness and frustration that inspired this piece, but it came from a different time and place. I’m actually enjoying many aspects of being alone this year (and despairing at others, naturally) so please don’t worry about me.