"Squaring the Sun".
On view at Martha Otero Gallery through October 25th, 2014
When I was a kid I used to draw the legs of insects and bird feet as maze-like patterns because I thought that was how they actually were. I don’t even remember it being fun to draw so much as I was determined to get them not tolook how they looked, but feel how they looked. Birds have mazes for feet, and bugs have legs that make mazes, right?
This piece sprang from being asked to do the cover for the band Upsilon Acrux' upcoming album. I was given the phrase “Square Sun Dialect” and told to make whatever I wanted based on that alone. I had been thinking about nature illustrators like John James Audubon and Ernst Haeckel who made very stylized but scientific drawings under the banner of documenting and categorizing plants and animals. These pictures of the natural world are often so stylized to me that they feel unnatural, like science fiction. So many people have drawn the same bird or flower or whatever, but they all turn out wonderfully varied. Every mind is a unique prism that refracts the light of existence in different ways. Combining these thoughts with my memory of trying to capture the maze-iness of insect legs, my own early effort to document my perceptions in a deeply subjective way, “Squaring the Sun” came out. Birdmen and bugmen got mixed with planes and insignia and I was happy and surprised that things organically became much more geometric than originally intended. Incidentally, much of this piece was made with a broken right drawing hand and a healthy and surprisingly reliable left hand. Another fun fact is that this image will not be on the album cover. I ended up submitting something else.