Leslie ShowsAmerican (Manteca, California, 1977)
Leslie Shows grew up in Juneau, Alaska. "Glaciers, calcified mining ruins, and rainy rebar-strewn lots were my playgrounds," she recalls. An avid reader, researcher, and thinker, Shows plans her works for a long time before realizing them; each is the result of what she calls a sort of "brain frenzy." Once she has her compositions in mind, she prepares many of her materials before applying them to the huge sheets of mulberry paper that support each work. She "grows" her own salt and rust; brushes acrylic paint onto Plexiglas and then peels it off in skins; and culls images from magazines and the web. The results are synthetic, symbolically potent assemblages that hold both micro and macro lenses onto ancient lands ravaged by short-term occupants.