For many years I have concentrated on the rural Ohio landscape. Recently I have taken an interest in the blue collar neighborhoods of post industrial cities. I reside in a neighborhood like this and I have seen its gradual decline and its retaking by nature. Accompanying this is the social corrosion leading to extreme criminal violence to persons and property. My city of Youngstown suffers homes fully engulfed in flames on a nightly basis, the majority said to be arson. Murders are often associated with these events.
As thousands of the houses are burned and bulldozed, cities cannot maintain the vacant lots and Nature eagerly fills the void. Youngstown now has a large deer herd and packs of coyotes which enter the standing neighborhoods and wreak havoc. In short, these places have become the New Wilderness.
This news articles below provide examples of extreme poverty, crimes involving arson and multiple murders:
My intention is to create a series of large oil paintings based on these preliminary works.