Nevada has long been a place for venturers seeking refuge. The first settlers moved West to find a place, unfettered by Puritanical East Coast sobriety, where they would be free to create and recreate themselves. The harsh terrain and the unpredictable weather honed and patinaed the visionary renegades who made Nevada home. Their legacy lives on today in the limitless configurations of human imagination that converge each year on the Black Rock Desert in Northern Nevada to celebrate the art festival of Burning Man.
For the last five years I have traveled to the Great Basin and the Black Rock Desert where I have come under the influence of the vastness of space and the human elaborations that stand in contrast to the stark desert.
These painted portraits are interpreted from slides of real people at Center Camp, Black Rock City, Nevada. Not ordinary depictions, rather, people as they dress up and dance and enact their archetype. The past collective experience of humanity and its present in the unconscious of the individual person insights the revelations in these faces.
Eight portraits from my “Desert Denizen” series were selected for the exhibition Nevada Triennial at the Nevada Museum of Art, in Reno, July 16- October 2, 2005.
Over time, I completed many other portraits of the residents of Black Rock City.