Tar & Tar Paper Works (1986-1991)

These pieces incorporated tar and tarpaper along with a number of other traditional and non-traditional media. In some cases, layers of tarpaper with paint, carved lines, and other material produced an assemblage that suggested the representation of an artist’s model. In other cases, tar was used along with paint on paper/canvas to convey a gestural “object” that was framed by the conveyed still life (or model). Lastly, tar was used to “embalm” objects on paper/canvas as if it the objects were in a scene printed on the paper. In all cases, the use of tar or tarpaper referred to how our biological past (i.e., the organic remains of our evolutionary forbears, now in the form of oil) shapes our movement in the present. The past is always with us, even if we do not recognize it overtly, repackaging itself in ways suggesting a passage of time. This is consistent with the relativistic perspective of a block universe where the past, present, and future co-exist together. In such a framework, one representation of an object/event is not pre-eminent above others, allowing deconstruction of genetic representation as an artistic practice.