The Old House

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“The Old House” drawings are based on the memory of the house that I lived in until I was 16, when it burned down in 1999. Most of these drawings are of the living room with its badly dilapidated roof, which is also where my three younger brothers slept. I tried many methods for recreating the room, but eventually discovered that simply free-associating and working with pencil was the best route to memory.

In the summer of 2011 I went to Oklahoma to visit my family. On my last day visiting I went with my brother, Nicholas, to Lake Draper. When we arrived we found the lake surrounded by enormous weeds. Nicholas and I pulled them back to make our way to the water and were shocked to find that the water’s edge was replaced by an expanse of mud and sand dunes. We did not know it at the time, but the lake had been drained because of construction on the Akota Pipe Line. This is where I found the Dr. Pepper and Coke cans perfectly preserved, discarded in 1978. I have kept them in my studio ever since and sketched them from observation for these drawings. At that time I was beginning the “Old House” drawings. I wanted to sift through my memory and find the images similarly resting and waiting to be revealed like those cans I found shinning in the sun after 30 years. I worked some times from memory and some times from observation blending the past and present together. As well, the figures in these drawings are a combination of real people and people in the current news and tabloids.

These drawings are each roughly 9” by 11” or 10” by 20” and are graphite on gray paper.

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