My boxes are plain, store bought, wooden shadow boxes, 18”x14”x3”. I filled the interiors with black and white xeroxes of buildings I had photographed in my walks around Downtown Stamford and the South End.
Once I established a make-believe city, I could put my cast of street characters inside, creating a De Chirico-like dream world. I was able to achieve depth in the shallow space by using false photo perspective.
These mixed media boxes were included in the PMW Gallery exhibition because we all agreed that they “spoke to” the paintings in some way. While the boxes are from a distinctly different series of work, done a decade prior to the paintings, there seems to be a connection between them. It’s been suggested that the boxes have the effect of “zooming in” on what’s happening on the ground, by making the people larger and the focus narrower. While using photographic collage to give the appearance of reality, the juxta-positioning of people and place gives a surrealist quality of another sort.
My favorite box exhibit was held many years ago in the Westport Art Center. The show was called “The Boxists” and featured a prominent group of Joseph Cornell-like “assemblagists” who had worked and exhibited together for many years. I was an unwelcome outsider.