By taking the bottom of a trash can off the street and placing it on the wall, I transform the mundane residue of urban living into an abstract painting. The noise of the street falls away, the odor of decay is gone and the rich colors, shapes and fragments of everyday lives begin to form a universe all their own. The landscape inside the cans becomes difficult to pin down as it fluctuates between, in some images, a cavernous expanse and in others, a compressed surface. The splatters on the sides of the can reveal the history of labor and life as paint, dirt, food and debris is moved in and back out of the can in a weekly rhythm of wear and tear.
I consider these images to be a form of automatic art. I don’t evaluate the contents in advance. I don’t stage or control the composition. This offers me the same experience of discovery I hope the audience will have as the photographic process completes the transformation from recognizable garbage to abstract beauty.