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The Desert

Black Drawings

The Desert

The desert is inside of us and it is outside of us. Where I live, it can be both. I thought that it has a transformative power and is beautiful in its abandon. That Suburbia is a kind of desert is a commonplace critique. Architectural and cultural critic Robin Boyd expressed this well back in the last century in this reflection on the spiritual ugliness of suburbia being rooted in a “fear of reality, a denial of the need for the everyday environment to reflect the heart of the human problem”. It operates though a “satisfaction with veneer and cosmetic effects. It ends in betrayal of the element of love…” this is resonant with the Eastern Orthodox tradition of the desert as not only a literal environment to which early hermits went to seek after God, but also as an existential place of abandonment, a harsh environment or aridity and want; a bookend for Boyd’s “betrayal of love”. A picture like Desert Rain then is a good evocation of aridity as an interior condition (the desert is inside of the house/dwelling and so un-available to the rain). As I was working on this one, I remembered that the big, front room window in a ranch-style house was also called the ‘picture window’, which seemed very apropos. 

Candelabara #1,  80 X 39.5

Candelabara #3, 80 x 39.5

Candelabara #2, 80 x 39.5

Candelabara # 4, 80 x 39.5


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