I was born in Greece and grew up in Congo, Algeria, France and Morocco, where my father was posted as a diplomat with the United States Foreign Service. We moved back to the US permanently in my mid-teens and, after receiving a BA in Massachusetts and an MFA in Texas, I moved to Baltimore — where I have lived and worked since 1991.
Growing up in different places introduced me to a feeling of not belonging to any one place. Perhaps because of this, I gravitate towards unsettled spaces where personal memories and meaning interact and shift.
My work is autobiographical; a felt-history. But while the materials, objects and scenarios I work with are very personal, they are also very universal. They animate visceral moments of the human condition—moments that lay bare who we are, emotional and resilient; a combination of now and then.
Blankets with black embroidered eyes, birthday cake with candles burnt to the surface, a suitcase duct taped to the floor, a pint glass with sharpie dates marking the passage of time—what is meaningful for me in this work is being able to combine the familiarity of objects and materials with subtle, shifting narratives. The results can feel unresolved, inconclusive or teetering but these are important moments worthy of notice.
The story of Pint starts with me sitting in the studio, scanning the room and resting on a forgotten glass of water on the other side of the room. I sat, time passed and before I left the studio, I marked the water line with the date: 11/21/09, as if to say, “I was here”.
It became a studio ritual over the next five months, to sit in my chair, reflect on how much water had evaporated, and decide if it was the day to mark the date.
I liked the result; it had a strangely suspenseful effect.
Fast forward to 2016, Pint was resting on the windowsill in my kitchen. I liked having it there as part of my every day. One day, I saw that someone had found the glass and washed it for me. The glass, now scrubbed clean, seemed perfect, so I took a photo of it to commemorate the act.
Now I have a memory of the glass, and a photograph. Pint II
And that interests me. Because that is how memories are made. It is like looking at a photograph of yourself as a young child, in a place someone described to you. It is familiar yet distant, present and absent simultaneously.