De Rerum Natura, at Park Life SF
De Rerum Natura, Park Life Gallery, San Francisco
October 7 - November 7, 2022
In Lucretius's view from the 1st century BCE, everything new is created from something old. The natural world, he speculates, is built of atoms that only occasionally are able to swerve out of their destinies and there is no point in making sacrifices to the gods, because they will never notice our efforts. Pure random luck therefore is all that stands between us and good or bad news.
Two thousand years later and things seem about the same. Joy, desire, and angst are as recognizable in the images of our time as they are in Greek theater masks and Roman philosophical manifestos. The details of my to-do list might be new, but the daily grind is not. The tragedy of an accident, the escape of a day dream, the anxiety of repaying a debt, these are both ancient and contemporary experiences.
In our own time, where institutional chaos and seasonal disruption is the norm, I have found pleasure in the activities of my garden. History does not disappear when the weeds take over the sidewalks, but it gets a little softer around the edges. After the rains, new things sprout from old growth, and change becomes inevitable, even if it’s not the change we ask for. In these paintings I play with contrasting quotidian references and epicurean ideals. With details borrowed from my garden, I am able to explore the symbols embedded in mythologies about our daily labor on a personal level.