MONUMENTAL (2008-09)

Images

For these paintings I drew inspiration from disparate sources: science fiction, grand architectural schemes, nineteenth- and twentieth-century utopic plans, romantic landscape painting, and my own studies of the plants and animals that live in my urban setting (the neighbourhood feral cat colony, the swans by the lake, a worm, seaweed, etc.). The paintings feature colossal, ungainly structures set in isolated landscapes that attempt to suggest the sublime.

The series is intended to be a campy imagining of how the ubiquitous condo developer might respond to extreme environmental degradation. The structures are architectural “ducks,” a term coined by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown to describe post-war roadside buildings that are shaped like what they are selling: in this case, an evocation of the natural world. The buildings are a kind of clumsy bionic architecture that mimics organic forms rather than learning from them. In the same spirit, the way I have drawn them is simplified and awkward, intended more as a caricature of architectural renderings than fully realised proposals.