Houseplants Make You Smarter

“In ‘Houseplants Make You Smarter’ I continue the exploration of human interaction
with the natural world, progressing from earlier works that examined American
landscapes and the open road, to more immediate and quotidian observations from
everyday life. The new work demonstrates a deep appreciation of the beauty reflected
in seemingly unremarkable natural surroundings, yet recognizes with humor the aseptic
character of modern Americana. Our daily dose of nature is often carefully curated,
whether the houseplant on our windowsill that manages to survive our sporadic care, or
our sculpted lawn watered to preserve its ‘dollar bill green’ hue.”

“The new work encourages us to stop for a moment and take in the aesthetics of our
physical environs, to remove ourselves for a minute from the deluge of information and
tasks that that swamp us and see the scene outside our kitchen window, and, to show
appreciation for the banal beauty of a wily raccoon on our lawn (Mayonnaise, 2016) or a
gaudy sunset the color of grape juice (American White, 2016). In moving from conquering
the great expanses of the American road to the harried immediacy of our domesticated
lives, I want us not to lose sight of this tamed splendor (American Cheese, 2016).”

“The palette of my new work reflects a domesticated approach to our interaction with
nature – the cleansed landscapes are now calming and named with interior paint chip
colors. I seek to extract beauty and humor from the mundane.’

“In Picture Perfect, 2016, two succulents sit sublimely by a window, thriving in their
contained and controlled environment near my desk. Details are limited to create a
meditative simplicity.”

“‘Houseplants Make You Smarter’ is one of a myriad of daily headlines that bombard us
in our digital, distracted world. Appearing on a social media post, the results of this
latest ‘scientific’ study were inconclusive, yet the benefits for our well-being resonated –
turn away from the screen and truly see the life in front of you; find the joy and humor
in the frenzy of being.”

It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?
– Henry David Thoreau