I want to say thank you to Alivia Zivich and DLECTRICITY 2014 for allowing me to present at this year's festival. I did an untitled project with three neons installed on historic Woodward Avenue in Detroit. Here's my statement about the work:
A large part of my practice as a painter involves language. My use of neon as an artist is greatly influenced by growing up in Highland Park in view of the YELLOW PAGES and HOSTESS signs of old Detroit. These three works specifically address politics, history, and relationships. Putting these personal thoughts in an historical form used specifically for mass communication makes them public, and public admissions are rare in our current political moment. By manifesting the loss of an icon of a critical and engaged press; the affirmation of Detroit as a site of learning, and dismissing blame as an sustainable position, my work in light creates sites of public consideration of our shared personal and political consciousness.
It was a great opportunity to revisit my hometown with my work and to make some wonderful new friends. For instance:
Trinosophes has great bands and great coffee and great folks. They hosted my Untitled (I MISS PETER JENNINGS) before Dlectricity. Stop in and hang with THE ELECTRIFYING MOJO.
Jonathan Rajewski is making some tough, gorgeous paintings in Hamtramck.
I got a beautiful drawing from the force of nature that is Bailey Scieszka.
Zeb Smith, who looked after me and my show at MOCAD took me for probably the best cup of pour over coffee I've ever had at Astro Coffee. A great place in the shadow of the Detroit Train Station and next to the amazing Slows Bar BQ. (NB. Zeb built the doors for Slows. The guy's freaking amazing.)
Adrian Pittman has a master plan to put Detroit back on the physical, mental, and digital maps of the world. And the brother has better shoes than me. For real.
I am hoping to go back to Detroit for a few weeks this spring if not sooner. I've got something up my sleeve and I hope it works out.