Survivors in a Social Desert

Artist's Statement

Survivors in a Social Desert 1989-1991

Over the past twenty years we have changed our social climate into an unforgiving barren desert. I believe that the extinction of the middle class, the recent rise in racist, sex-related and violent crimes, the advent of AIDS, bureaucratic indifference and the honing manipulative techniques in advertising (guilt and fear of isolation) have all contributed to a drastic change in this culture’s social environment.

The cactus is a child of the desert. He is a survivor, he has a lot to give but his spines prevent you from getting too close. Forced into a self-imposed exile, the cactus has evolved sharp thorns as a result of the harsh environment in which he lives. The cactus is different from other plants, not having leaves; it stays cool from the desert heat in the shadow created by its spines.

The vibrant and bright imagery of this series of zinc plate etchings is from the viscosity printing process. I wanted to render the interesting cacti shapes paying homage to a certain Impressionist brushstroke as a point of departure. The soft ground and sugar lift is laid down with a drybrush

Some of these personified cacti are rooted in social commentary, others are not unlike self-portraits. In them I want you to find a little of me; my likes, my dislikes, influences and affections.