How much of what we look at do we really see?
Often, the field of one’s vision is obstructed. Our eyes connect the dots and our minds fill in the blanks. We are able to recognize and identify. But, what we know about what we see is ultimately based on either popular pre-conceptions, or through personal experience.
Particular spaces yield certain situations. My intentions lie in wandering, observing and understanding urban environments. Working to illustrate more than the physical particulars of a site, I select a fixed place from which to study present culture. By limiting the perimeters of location and people to a specific space and routine, I create a position from which to locate common denominators, discover patterns and raise questions relevant to Here and Now.
Determining commonalities and finding patterns can be used to stereotype— but the act of recognizing similarities also entails distinguishing differences. Above all, it is the individuality of others that is present, and it is through active engagement with others that individuality can be recognized and assumptions may dissolve.
This body of work is derived from one year of utilizing Detroit’s public transportation system. My reaction to the daily abundance of source material led to the practice of limiting my observational drawings to record only what I witnessed in terms of one color each day. This methodology of isolating subject matter through the lens of color resulted in an in-depth look at the apparel of my fellow bus riders. Clothes offer clues to the culture of a place on many levels. Simplified to shapes of color, they become signifiers, indicating age, sex, occupation, climate and of course, personality.
photo: PD Rearick
Collection of Jarrett Streebin