The Meramec Caverns paintings are inspired by stills from a video I made of a light show that takes place during a tour of Meramec Caverns in Stanton, Missouri. As the finale of a guided tour throughout the circuitous chambers of the cavern, the light show is a spectacularly vibrant projection of colored light flashes onto the cave's largest formation, known as "The Stage Curtain." Composed by the tour guides themselves, these light shows are accompanied by a very site specific musical soundtrack, to which varying tour guides perform their own energetic response by flipping a myriad of manual switches on what is essentially a fuze box. I seek to capture some of the energy and physicality of those fleeting moments and have been working through ideas from this site in a series of oil paintings.
I came to art through painting, but hadn’t used paint as a material for years until the Meramec Caverns project came about. The way the caverns were formed through sediment eroded by underground water systems or formation built up by sediment carried in water, made perfect sense to me in terms of paint. The pigment suspended in fluid relates to the caves’ additive and reductive evolution.
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