Decay can be visually beautiful. Peeling paint, graffiti, rust, oxidized metal, crumbling ruins. If you look long enough, there is beauty there. There are stories. There is history.
I’ve been keenly aware of my fascination with ancient things, historical places and worn surfaces for quite some time. It has been the central theme and creative inspiration for my artwork for several years.
My latest collection of paintings, titled Nagori, is all inspired by the ever-changing graffiti and un-intentional “art” that I stumble across every day in New York city, as well as the growing collection of photos I have taken of these “relics” in my travels.
But when I think about it, I’ve always been drawn to old things. As a young child I wanted to be an anthropologist. I loved the idea of discovering a long lost artifact and piecing together a story, paying tribute to a lost civilization and culture.
Maybe it’s because I’m a visual and tactile person.
Maybe it’s because I am happy doing anything that my hands get to experience first.
Perhaps it’s because I love imagining and dreaming up stories of who and what happened before I discovered it.
Perhaps it’s because some of the most fascinating and beautiful places I have been to are so incredibly rich culturally and historically. Istanbul, Amman, Tokyo, Mumbai, Bali, Bologna, Jerusalem…
Or, maybe I’m an old soul.
Perhaps I have lived in these places and my memories are stirred when I come across an artifact that I used in my past.
Either way, I can’t resist running my hands along an old wooden door, a fresco, a stone wall, the marble in a hamam, peeling wallpaper, picking up a tarnished piece of metal, or snapping a photo of the latest street art in Brooklyn.
As my hands make contact, I travel across time and space.