The Urban Panels series investigates the most mundane of city vistas—sidewalks—reconsidering the sidewalk panel as a concise, meaning-laden urban sign.
For city residents, views of sidewalks take precedence over all other sights. Year after year, day and night, in all four seasons, in all weather, they unfold to us —a ubiquitous visual backdrop to the inner life of an urban denizen. Equally, sidewalks are the urban canvass upon which cycles of nature, history and consumption are projected. Erosion from feet, paws, and wheel traffic exposes age-old sediment and crackling layers of slate. Like crag faces adorned with fossils, concrete slabs record accidental footprints and intentional scribbles. Manhole covers dot streets like the official seals of defunct businesses or utility companies. Over these, modern culture deposits remnants of consumption: water, gravity and tire action press iconic packaging into low reliefs on the pavement’s surface. And in Nature’s eternal cycles, leaves land on sidewalks and pass out of existence; it rains and snows, and sunlight, shadows, and reflections lend even the most mundane items a transitory poetry.
All Urban Panels portfolios started as a meditation on these conditions. They mix postmodern irony with genuine contemplation and occasional poetry with prescient political satire. They reference such diverse visual sources as fossil specimens, Tang and Sung paintings, Graffiti Art and political cartoons, and Minimalism and Pop Art. They play with negative and positive relief, and utilize processes informed by ceramics and architectural model-making. The panels are finished with casein, oil, and spray paint, graphite and metallic powders, and concrete and wood finishes in various combinations.