Cover-up is a collection of photographs of walls that have been painted over by local authorities in an attempt to conceal and deter graffiti. They were taken under and around highways in urban areas of Texas. For many, these scenes are eyesores. I, however, have come to embrace them as public works of art.
These images convey a clash between individual self expression and collective authority. While the intent of the former is now a mystery, it is not erased. And while the objective of the latter is evident, it is not fully realized. Ultimately, the two compromise, creating a compelling work together. By freezing a moment in time, flattening the space and lifting the scene out of context, I also become a participant in this ongoing collaboration.
My previous series Wasted Expressions was inspired by abstract expressionist painting in the tradition of Aaron Siskind’s Homage to Franz Kline. I closely cropped images of dumpsters to create ambiguous two-dimensional abstractions that recalled of paintings. Rather than continue in the same vein with Cover-up, I chose to include the ground to firmly root the photographs in reality. In doing so, I eliminate ambiguity and invite the viewer to reflect on the evolution of the image before them.