Selected works from the Flat Files
curated by Jacqueline SkaggsScott Espeseth
My recent series of drawings are idiosyncratic, intimately scaled images derived from personal memories, boyhood fantasies, and the visual environment of my home in the upper mid-west. Carefully drawn in graphite or silverpoint, they are modest in scale, often not much larger than a credit card. Despite their size, they are vivid and dense with information, giving the impression of vast worlds compressed into a tiny field of vision. Through the filter of memory, a sense of unease emerges. Distant storms and contrails mark hazy summer skies, and an eerie stillness permeates. Objects are veiled or covered with drapery, then sometimes revealed and other times left mysterious. Alluding to fears just below the surface, or to the incompleteness of recall, the drapes become shrouds for lost memories. Drawing drapery in silverpoint opens a dialog with the work of old masters that intersects with the contemporary imagery of swimming pools, backyards, and median strips, in a vain attempt to connect these spaces and memories with something more timeless and permanent. The images are frozen, but seem fragile and transient, just barley stained into the surface of the paper. Silverpoints slowly change over time, alternately fading and returning depending on their stage of chemical transformation. These images speak to the transience of life, culture, and memory, and the underlying anxiety of our impermanent situation.