In the Venus USA and Mutant works, cutouts from comic books and fashion catalogs, respectively, defy the curtain-like ground I make by stroking the page with dry pastels. The unexpected appearance of a disembodied bikini or suspended text bubble is an act of deliberate sabotage, contaminating the exquisite painterly texture of the abstract backgrounds. At the same time, floating above these grounds, the cutouts gain a formal beauty they did not have in their original context, as if magically absorbed from the rich, velvety pigments.