“Since desire always goes towards that which is our direct opposite it forces us to love that which makes us suffer” – Anais Nin
At the root of all the large works in Trypophobic Panopticons is desire. Desire for youth, admission, gluttony, all of which are beyond reach either by choice or design. Desire that if fulfilled, promises to bring pleasure or contentment but the inability to reach these desires brings frustration and suffering.The doors I am photographing, manually punch-drilling holes into, and placing images behind, are the metal screen doors to my art studio. These security doors are reminiscent of prisons and, much like the panopticons they evoke, they are a material representation of the prisons of surveillance around us.
The photographic holes and physical ones I create on these screens call forth television, pixels, and QR codes. These screens are also reminiscent of asymmetrical systems of control such as the internet, smartphones, etc. Screens designed to create insatiable desires and used to lure to desires trapped behind them.
Holes are potentially voyeuristic, but are you the voyeur or is someone spying in on you? There seems to be a forbidden danger to holes, something we should be instinctually afraid of, yet we are still drawn to. Holes can also be very sexual things. I make holes because I want to see past the photography, through the photography. What’s on the other side of the mirror? The viewer may be drawn to them aesthetically, or, as a person suffering from Trypophobia, filled with disgust or fear.
Lucio Fontana, whose work inspired my interest in exploring the sculptural space between the canvas and the wall, the hidden spaces in between and behind the traditional surface image, once said: “I make a hole in the canvas in order to leave behind the old pictorial formulae, the painting and the traditional view of art and I escape, symbolically, but also materially, from the prison of the flat surface.
I challenge “the old pictorial formulae” and “the prison of the flat surface”, but of photography instead of painting. Using sculptural intervention and decollage, I question photographic conventions of materiality, scale, and the devotion to the paper print. I consciously combine and appropriate conventions from other mediums such as painting to defy categorization.
CHRIST IN LIMBO72″x72″ archival pigment ink on poly fabric with acrylic varnish and punch cut holes
CHRIST IN LIMBO – detail
By drilling holes into a photograph of a door with holes I also turn it back into the object to which the image refers. The work is a paradox of being both an indexical image and the same material object it represents.
If trypophobia is the disgust or fear of patterns of holes, then the artistic labor of drilling thousands of holes to find desire on the other side becomes an act of suffering but also an act of penance for doing so.
MODERNIST PRISON72″x72″ archival pigment ink on poly fabric with acrylic varnish and punch cut holes
DOUBLE WHOPPER WITH CHEESE72″x72″ archival pigment ink on poly fabric with acrylic varnish, punch cut holes, and billboard vinyl
MY HONEY72″x72″ archival pigment ink on poly fabric with acrylic varnish, punch cut holes and fabric backing
MY HONEY – detail
YOU SELL IT, YOU GIVE IT AWAY YOU BUY IT ALL BACK72″x72″ archival pigment ink on poly fabric with acrylic varnish, punch cut holes and ink jet photograph
YOU SELL IT, YOU GIVE IT AWAY YOU BUY IT ALL BACK – detail
THE PRICE OF ADMISSION72″x72″ archival pigment ink on poly fabric with acrylic varnish, punch cut holes, astro turf, tape measures, and raffle tickets
THE PRICE OF ADMISSION – detail
PRISONER OF MY OWN DEVICE72″x72″ archival pigment ink on poly fabric with acrylic varnish, punch cut holes and children’s blanket
I WANT A PERFECT BODY72″x72″ archival pigment ink on poly fabric with acrylic varnish, punch cut holes, zippers, fly paper, and padlock
I WANT A PERFECT BODY – detail
TIME8.5″x11″ magazine with punch cut holes
DIOR8.5″x11″ magazine with punch cut holes
MODERN FORMS8.5″x11″ magazine with punch cut holes
DINNER8.5″x11″ magazine with punch cut holes
GUCCI8.5″x11″ magazine with punch cut holes
SLEEP8.5″x11″ magazine with punch cut holes
LOVE8.5″x11″ magazine with punch cut holes
HARVARD8.5″x11″ magazine with punch cut holes
SURFACE8.5″x11″ magazine with punch cut holes
TIME 1008.5″x11″ magazine with punch cut holes