January 1, 2020 Beginning my first daily self-portrait since 2010, I thought about personal things that had changed in ten years. I now had a smart phone with a camera, I was biking much more, and my obsession with flying, floating and falling objects was renewed. Begun in a mood of introspection, the series quickly morphed into something much bigger. My original idea of a personal visual diary gave way to a more universal concept, as we headed into lockdown in March and our world turned upside down. World events quickly spiraled out of control and my year of self-portraits became a documentation of our first year of global pandemic - a year of metaphors: 2020 vision, 2020 insight, 2020 hindsight.
In the drawings I explore my feelings about illness and death, politics and race relations, climate change, wildfires, joy and inspiration: moods light and heavy. As self-observation gave way to broader considerations, multiple sub-series emerged. 366 drawings gave me ample space to explore those themes and more.
Take a moment to notice the shades of paper: black and greys in the winter give way to lighter colors in the spring, to more color in the summer, and deeper tones in the autumn. Most of the works are black and white, but occasionally I added metallic tones: silver, bronze and gold. Like the little highlights in our lives at that time, the small kindnesses that made it all bearable.
A few of the sub-series that emerged in 2020:
The iPhone series arose from a feeling of “Drowning in Tech,” but segued into gratitude for this device that connects us to the world when we have to stay distant. The phone became even more of a vital tool for my work, to quickly document and capture what was going on.
The Box series was a visceral reaction to being “boxed” in, as delivery boxes became our lifeline to the outside world during lockdowns and each time we were exposed to someone who tested positive.
The Gravity series originally came out of my fascination with objects floating, flying or falling. But when Covid hit, and everything became unmoored, feelings of falling, flying or floating became ubiquitous.
The Shadow series developed as I began to go out mostly at night to avoid crowds. The long shadows from street lights seemed to speak to how people were feeling - like shadow-selves. Often alone, with only moody nighttime or dramatic sunlit shadows for company, shadows became an important metaphor for our human impact on the planet.