These are three of a series of thirty pieces, together titled, Traffic: A Coda in four Stanzas, completed in 2008. They say as good as I am able, the thing that's obsessed me for over thirty years. The big picture. The cultural, socio-economic, biological manifestation of the industrial age. Darwin's nightmare. Corbusier's dream. Mother Nature all paved over (except for the nipple-greens where the golfers play). Traffic. Well, it takes your mind off washing clothes.
"Truck Wreck 2" with its box T
"Lonely Car Couple"
Mapping before we escaped gravity
Was endless triangulation,
A theodolite on a tripod focussedOn two known points, angles calculated,
Then moved on to a new apex
Et cetera ad infinitum;
Then grids were laid on triangles
To divide mine from yours
Which left out the natives who
Thought all of this was ours
And could never be divided.
(from "The Cicerone in the Triangle" by J. Quinn Brisben)
The series is chopped with seals. They are an important part of each piece, both the artist's signature, and also commentary on the painting. Since I do not know Chinese, an ideogrammatic language, and in any case, want to speak to a North Carolina audience, I use my own, pictorial language that can be read by an average american.
Surprisingly, I've noticed an interesting cultural response to the seals. When chinese speakers look at the pieces, they are confused and a little offended as they lean forward to read the seal. To someone expecting Mandarin, the seals are just gibberish. Viewers in Xiamen, China thought I was mocking them. On the other hand, people here in Research Triangle region, generally don't look closely enough to read them, assuming I suppose that the seals are unintelligible and simply see them as a little spot of color on an otherwise black and white work of art...