My current paintings and drawings are based on Chinese scholar's rocks and Zen rock gardens, natural artifacts that are framed as objects of meditation and reflection. While Zen thought encourages diving into direct experience, these pieces are distant, based upon catalog documents and visitors' photographs. Much of the texture and detail in these paintings derives from glitches of information passing from photographs, through stenciling software, and onto canvas. Errors of calculation and discoloration inform the image, substantially reinventing it as painting. The original stones are a muted, removed influence.



About Ryoan-Ji


This installation of paintings is based upon the 14th-century stone garden at the temple of Ryoan-Ji in Kyoto, Japan. This garden is carefully composed of 15 moss-covered boulders placed in a long, rectangular bed of raked gravel. This panoramic tableau cannot be fully perceived from a single vantage point; from the viewing platform, one can only see 14 of the rocks at a time. The garden is a meditation on landscape, a space deliberately created with the intent of slowing down and framing the act of looking.

Countless visitors have photographed partial views of Ryoan-Ji. Their photographs, freely distributed on the Internet, are the basis for each individual painting. What happens if I combine these singular and diverse points of view into a new panorama? How authentic is such a representation? As I transfer these images to the canvas, layering detail of rocks and gravel into the painting, I am somehow brought closer to the garden, although I've never been to Japan. Indeed, my interest in this project is driven in large part from the idea of representing a place I've never seen in person.