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Polis

The polis is the city, the community of people sharing a way of life and governing themselves, waging war and preserving the peace. The polis is the natural social group, containing everything necessary for the development and exercise of human power and excellence. This communal theme is borne out in suburbanite imagery which hopes to capture the visual and psychological impact of such an environment. Raised in the suburbs, that halfway space betweenrural isolation and urban cosmopolitanism, my exposure to a more urban environment coupled with various historical events motivated this work. Things like the attacks of September 11th, the two foreign wars, the economic near catastrophe, inspired me to want to meditate on meaning of belonging to a political order that one so often finds so distant. These events appeared to me as a potential calling to a renewed sense of our common identity in a country largely dedicated to private ambitions and self interest. Whatever one's political persuasion its seems these event are a call to meditation and dialogue on what it means to be a citizen of modern democracy. Inspired by Cézanne, Corot, and elements of Cubism these paintings address particular and universal elements of landscape. Such models of emulation allowed me to approach the outlying hills of the Boston metro area with their vast and tight tapestry of suburban houses. Not unlike the medieval Mediterranean hill villages depicted by Cezanne and Corot the houses of Boston coalesce to form a communal mosaic. The regularity of the reoccurring geometric patterns created by the homogeneity and grid planning of suburban architecture calls attention to the whole, over and above a single individual. These groupings serve as metaphor for a total community. Each facet-like house is a puzzle piece participating in a larger social pattern. Each house is a crude analogy to individuals participating within the greater fabric. I sought to exploit their middling democratic sameness to question our basic assumption of self-evident individualism. The individual is so often free to rise to their own level of sameness and conformity. These images seem to belie this noble myth, revealing sameness and dependency, the need for the individual to participate in something greater than themselves.