BROOKLYN WALL FLOWERS
2016 - 2018
About the Brooklyn Wall Flowers Project:
Brooklyn is home. Brooklyn is tough and beautiful. Like most of New York City, our borrough is most often labeled, marketed and sold as "gritty" and "rough" to non-New Yorkers. Many people hear Brooklyn and they conjure images of water tower outlines in harsh black and white, or concrete and steel in HDR. However, Brooklyn is more than that - always has been. Even our toughest blocks have backyard gardens.
The Brooklyn Wall Flowers Project aims to highlight the overlooked natural beauty of our neighborhood streets to contrast, but also to complement the industrial, urban "grit" imagery that's being marketed to outsiders. These "street flowers" if you will, hide in plain sight in sidewalk beds, front yards, or potted on stoops. Just like the human residents that have been here for generations, they are often unseen or ignored by passers-by. The titles reflect the blocks where the flowers lived - the street and its closest cross-street.
Just like people, there is a perceived and an actual image. There is a surface and something deeper. Brooklyn and its residents are a wild combination of diverse, contrasting traits. From afar or at quick glance, one might simply see a pretty flower. Soft, delicate, smooth and bright. Take a closer look and you will recognize that there is not a rounded, soft element. Each flower is made up of only straight lines with harsh corners forming hundreds of intricate triangles. Look even closer and one discovers the metallic texture reflecting behind the colorful surface. The lines, corners and metal allude to the roughness of Brooklyn. The mosaic-like facets reminds us how multifaceted our home is. Lastly, I chose the solid, black, reflective background for two reasons: One is to reverse the effect of not seeing the small, simple beauty in our every day life and highlight the flower above all. And two is to let the world around the piece be reflected in the image itself. Wherever a particular piece ends up living, its environment will be a part of it.
The Brooklyn Wall Flowers Project consists of three series. To see more works and to get more insight into the evolution, please continue scrolling.
The pieces in the first series are perhaps purest in the sense of exploration without a plan, nor a goal. Each image is based on a serendipitous discovery of something beautiful while on a walk to, from or during work. The flowers in each piece have a character or convey an emotion. Many people ask me what the floating specks represent. Are they fleeting or forming? I would like to leave that interpretation to you personally.
There wasn't a distinct moment that signifies the change from series 1 to series 2. It just happened. A novice in biology and flowers, I discovered the amazing symmetry in the anatomy of flowers and nature in general. In terms of process, this is when I began to work with a goal in mind. With the visual and technical experience gained through series 1, I now began to actively search out specific flowers that would fit into my vision.
Working on the last pieces for series 2, I noticed that I had lost the serendipity and spontaneity in my work. The walks were no longer just walks, but active searches for potential new pieces. In the studio, my work ethic became a bit obsessive and with that, I often found myself frustrated with either the process or the outcome leading me to become even more obsessed. I needed to take a step back and let the beauty find me again. That's how Series 3 started. No longer did I "hunt" for specific subjects, but instead I softened my focus to see my neighborhood again. I wanted to enjoy walks for what they were and maybe something will catch my eye. The pieces in series 3 are more complex and show more interaction within its elements.