My current paintings are part of a larger project, which I call Crazy River, that I have been developing since 2017. The paintings are conceptual landscapes based on my life-long relationship to the West Branch of the Neversink, which runs between Ulster and Sullivan counties in New York state. “Neversink” is a corruption of the river’s original Lenapé name, which means something like “crazy river.” The project also includes text and videos, which address my identification with the West Branch. Crazy River the question: “How can we reimagine our relationship with the land, water, and air in a way that integrates us into the whole?”
Crazy River draws on childhood memories, adult epiphanies, and threads of stories about the West Branch and the western Catskill mountains handed down through my family. The West Branch molded my sense of self, which got badly shaken not long ago. Two immensely destructive back-to-back “hundred-year floods,” Hurricane Irene in 2011, and a localized super storm in 2012 that dropped ten inches of rain in a matter of days, woke me up to the reality that climate change had come to this corner of the world. Crazy River is also about the sense of loss, anger, and disorientation, which followed in the wake of these catastrophes.