PROPS & BEAMS

The series began when working at a hotel in New York and I was given a catalog for the auction of Elizabeth Taylor’s jewels. The catalog was quite big and I was impressed with the photos and the construction. I found it odd though talking with the guests about going to the auction and what they bought. I’ve never had a lot of money and that type of disposable income dumbfounds me. They weren’t pretentious or condescending, but more like talking about a great sale at Target. I felt completely open to talking to them, but still maintaining the idea that we were talking about saving a village or buying a bracelet.

Later I found a magazine with a fashion spread that had models in couture posing in abandoned desert landscapes. My father was a mining engineer and he met my mother in Death Valley. They lived there at the beginning of their marriage. I have a strong connection to the desert as a spent many family holidays there. I recently bought a house in Yucca Valley because I was so drawn to the landscape.

"Lift" $600 & Shipping

"Tourist" $750 & Shipping

"Roughneck" $750 & Shipping

The idea of extreme wealth and poverty has always interested me as I’ve seen it everywhere I’ve lived, and I kept thinking about this fashion spread. Since I was a little girl I’ve been interested in fashion and with my strong connection to the desert, this photo shoot resonated with me. When I moved back to California I didn’t know if I would continue painting. I started working in collage again and made some small pieces using the fashion spread and Taylor’s jewelry. I just kept thinking, it doesn’t matter how much you have or where you are, the emptiness is always there. You can run away and have this seemingly amazing life, but at the end of the day you can never escape who you really are, so you better figure out who that is.

I have this feeling that we are physically connected with the land that we come from. The elements of the earth, just like our parents' genes, are part of us. My mother said that if you don’t have solid support props and beams than your mine will collapse and kill you, just like life. She added later with a smile, “but there are a lot of treasures along the way.”

"Scout" $750 & Shipping

"Trespasser" $750 & Shipping