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Paint + Paste: Paradise Lost and Found

Paradise Lost and Found: Recent Collage Paintings

Loosely following John Milton’s epic poem, Paradise Lost, this body of collage paintings reflect on the subtropical states of Florida and Hawaii as contemporary parallels to Milton’s Garden of Eden, exile, and redemption. As a resident of both states, I have come to recognize their similar cultural functions as fantastical escapism with economies based largely in service and tourism industries. They share brutal histories of indigenous population displacement yet embrace decidedly different political postures as a possible salvation from the increased effects of climate change, overpopulation, and natural disasters. Combining the immediacy of ready-made images with the slower recursive act of painting, Paradise Lost and Found, mines and reflects on historical images of travel and leisure as a privileged promise inextricably linked to the ever-present tensions between that promise and the inherent corruption of consumer culture, acceptance and banishment, abundance and exploitation, temptation and shame.  

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