2008, 2009, 2011
These paintings exist in relationship to Polaroid images captured outside of small towns, along a random rural route across the United States. The path was chosen intuitively by sight and at times purely by name. If the town sign pointed left, I often went right. These areas are generally void of people or any signs of life. The shells of homes and businesses remain.
From the town of Texola Oklahoma, one may drive from the state of Oklahoma, enter into the state of Texas and return to Oklahoma by making an immediate u-turn around a patch of dirt and unkempt grass. You are then welcomed back into Oklahoma with a sign that says, "There's no place like Texola." Truth be told, there is not.
The homes in these small towns remain standing despite their deprivation. Nature is in the process of reclaiming it's ground. This process is quiet, alluring and beautiful. I often wonder what happened to the town and it's people. Why everyone has left, why others choose to remain.
What was once considered America's "heartland" has been abandoned. Mom's and Pop's and neighbors traded in for the convenience of Wal-Mart and the uniformity of "if-you-lived-here-you'd-be-home-now" housing developments. Yet the framework of the former American life and its more personal systems of survival remain as a reminder of who we used to be and perhaps as guideposts should we choose to return to our collectively abandoned heart space.