Sunday, May 10, 2015

“GYRE: THE PLASTIC OCEAN” travels with the Smithsonian

In a culture dependent upon the modern convenience of plastic, throwaway products of consumption are affecting oceans and shrinking our world as we all become connected through our trash. Organized and first exhibited in Anchorage, Alaska, GYRE: The Plastic Ocean” combines art and science to bring the problem into perspective. Now, through the Smithsonian, “GYRE” is on display at the David J. Spencer CDC Museum in Atlanta, Georgia until June 19, 2015. This fall, “GYRE” will travel to the USC Fisher Museum of Art in Los Angeles and open on September 2, 2015.

Three of my works are included in “GYRE.” I illustrate what I see through my imagination to make these concerns real to others. “Plastic Reef” shows a diver encountering a reef of discarded plastic bottles. “Tires Underwater” lets a child swim in dangerously trashed waters. “Eve and the Apple” is my version of the Garden of Eden after climate change.

GYRE: The Plastic Ocean” was also created as a compelling book by Julie Decker and the Anchorage Museum staff. It is now available on for those who want to find out more about how artists can add illumination this pressing environmental problem.

Thursday, January 8, 2015


Hiking on Ohio Street in Buffalo, where the train tracks, silos and canals all intersect, we found a campsite behind a bush growing out of the abandoned rails. Travelers had built a fire and drunk some beers. One of them had thrown out his toy collection. I am guessing it was a boy by the amount of little trucks and cars, a boy who saved all his Happy Meal toys when he had the chance.  For some reason it was time to leave them behind. Deer scat by the charred wood gave evidence of other life passing through this trail as well. Nearby were live rails with graffiti-covered train cars leading towards the General Mills plant. I like to imagine these “wayward teenagers, adventure seekers and high school runaways”* having a good, safe stop in Buffalo before the next part of their journey. Did some of them go back home or keep crisscrossing the country?  I wish them well and thank that unknown boy for his toys.

The Kang piece became the center of this assemblage. Kang and Kodos, the alien figures from the animated Simpsons TV show, have landed in Buffalo close the campsite.  A sub-surfaced mounted photograph of the site framed with a discarded drawer keeps this world together. Graphics of the Simpsons and graffiti copied off one of the train cars are painted on the sidewalls. Altogether, it’s my landscape painting.

*More on TRAVELERS:  The quote is from Mike Brodie’s book, “A Period of Juvenile Prosperity.” Brodie spent years 4 years as a traveler, documenting his experience by photographing his friends as he put on 50,000 miles through 46 US states. Amazing pictures from inside this world.