Stair Wall: High Line is one of seven paintings that I will be presenting in the show X Materia at DZINE, opening this week.
This painting is inspired by a wall seen along the High Line in New York several years ago and depicts one moment in a redevelopment project. A stairwell has been revealed and the staircase removed, leaving a scar in the plaster wall. The graffiti reminds us of the people who used the stairs. Embedded in the layers of paint are stenciled signs found in other urban environments: “No greyhound buses beyond this point” from an old bus depot in San Francisco; “Fire Blanket – Pull handle” found elsewhere in New York. Fragments of street posters are used to enliven the wall surface and, more obviously, to suggest an exposed brick wall along the right edge of the painting. The swinging industrial light in the foreground gives us the current narrative of building alterations.
The show takes its name from the Latin Creatio ex Materia, or creation out of matter, the premise being that existing material is transformed into something else. Stair Wall: High Line reflects this curatorial philosophy with its use of appropriated street posters and found signage to build narratives within the painted image.
X Materia Opening reception: Friday October 26th 6-9PM
DZINE Gallery, 128 Utah St, San Francisco, CA 94103