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“Through Failure Comes Possibility” is an on-going project repurposing “failed” paintings from my studio to construct sandbags. Experimentation and risk are at the core of an artist’s practice. Without the occasional “failure” the possibility of growth and generation of new ideas will not come about. In painting, this manifests itself in material covered with paint that will not easily break down and may contain health adverse minerals such as cadmium. Considering my fascination with military aesthetics and my concern for the waste I generate as a working artist, I looked for a way to take unsuccessful or “failed” paintings and convert them into useable and constructive objects. The sandbags are used to build a varied configuration of structures. Aside from obvious military references, they also share a relation to earthbag building, a low cost form of home construction adopted from military sandbag structures often used to construct solider and refugee housing.
Surrogate 2013 is a public reconfiguration of the sculpture of the same name from 2010. This incarnation was installed in front of the Napa Valley City Hall as part of the city's ARTwalk. The concrete structure is modeled after base end stations. Like those constructed on the Pacific Coast as part of war preparations during World War II the bunker is disintegrating and sinking into the landscape. Its form references the brutalist architecture of WWII and minimalist sculpture that followed shortly thereafter.
This version of "Surrogate" has a duel purpose as sculpture and planter bed. Paying homage to the victory gardens of the WWII era and the contemporary interest in urban farming, the hollow of the form is filled with dirt and has been planted with indigenous plants. Over the course of the two years the plants can be harvested and some will overtake the form.