Father Like Son
Father Like Son began in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. It began with the casting of a pallet and a computer. I was interested in these objects and their reverberations in a global economy—how each transaction is felt around the world. I found packing tape casting to be an effective process of capturing the form of an object without any of its inherent politics or history. This project had to change course when Hurricane Ida destroyed the warehouse where I kept my art studio. The warehouse was owned by my father's now-defunct fuel distribution business, which had itself been forced to permanently close because of a previous hurricane. I came to see the symmetry of hurricanes destroying both of our places of labor as a uniting force. I am hugely privileged to have access to my father's resources, but those resources are as subject as anything else to the ravages of nature. Father Like Son explores how the products and places we labor are also the things that make us vulnerable and susceptible to natural disaster. Using a dual visual language of objects shared by myself and my father, these artworks both condemn and revere our labor.
Father Like Son is composed of 260 cyanotypes printed on original transaction receipts, each displaying an individual petroleum fuel sale. Each image was selected from an original film photo, developed and scanned in the last three years. Both image and artifact signify a three year period in both our careers. The prints were exposed and developed using Tchefuncte River water, located in Madisonville, LA, where the former oil company and my current studio are located. They are hung at a height of 57” from the floor, mimicking the amount of flood in my studio and river shack. Each packing tape sculpture is an object pulled from the hurricane devastated warehouse which is another shared location through both of our labors. The items selected have had various purposes for the two of us, but we have both found shared utility in each.