Nicole Dyer

United States
1991
Statement

In Berlin we make pancakes. Or “crepes” as Pearl calls them — although I don’t believe our batter was thin enough. I’ve just arrived off the long flight to Germany to the home of Lucy and Pearl. An artist mother and an artist child. Their apartment is an eclectic hodgepodge of half finished projects, pastels, cushions, and creations. Lucy is running late, as usual, and Pearl and I are in charge of breakfast. We decide the pancakes would be better with the addition of blue sprinkles. The sugar crystals creating an indigo watercolor within the batter.

The three of us crowd around the tiny enamel table in the narrow kitchenette. Shoving aside a box of this week’s produce — carrots, onions, browning clementines, and eggs surrender to our bounty. The thick stack of fresh hotcakes waft a lovers tune; simple ingredients of egg, flour, and water fib promises of full bellies, full hearts, sustained energy, and success. Pearl shows me how the children in Europe enjoy the thin patisserie – sprinkled with a mix of brown sugar, cinnamon, and a squeeze of lemon. I sip a cup of coffee while they eat; the sugary, carb-loaded, and palatable meal intimidating me. How can a plate of food be both nourishing and dangerous? My cheeks grow red and hot as I watch the syrupy, blue bites pass happy, moist lips.

My paintings are a visual recording of the primal, sensual, and sometimes violent need to be with others. I draw inspiration from moments of intimacy and sociability, moments where I yearn for time to last forever, moments that make me nostalgic for the present. My inspirations include the crowded, cluttered bedroom of a friend’s NYC apartment—a memory that stands in for the crush I would instantaneously form; bowls of fruit in various locations I’ve inhabited; moments spent alone or moments spent with others; touches, sounds, hardnesses, and softnesses; birthdays, breakfasts, and bacon—consumption that is both enjoyed and laden with anxiety.

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