Flank #3, 2023

Tanks in Traffic (Series)

Scrap metal and street signs

28 x 18 x 12 in.

Flank is a word short for “Battle Drill One Alpha.” This is the military’s go-to drill when there is no communication or if a problem arises that requires quick action without thought. Everyone knows battle drill one alpha if everything fails or nothing works. They have practiced it a million times, and very little thought is required as muscle memory takes over. It is deeply embedded. When in doubt, Flank.

I made this sculpture at a time when I felt unsure about my direction and didn’t know what else to make, so I did what I knew best from my gathered life experiences. I created from what I had learned and practiced in a time of darkness that might otherwise lead one into a place of paralyzation. This sculpture is a reminder to keep moving forward and never give up. If the mind can not fathom what to do next, run the Flank.

Made of scrap metal, military components, and discarded street signs, this thought-provoking series of sculptures is an ode to my time spent in the military. These masked metal entities share commonalities, each unique in their own right. The inspiration for this series came to me while sitting in heavy traffic on the crowded Los Angeles highways. After leaving the military, sitting in traffic would often trigger post-traumatic stress, reminiscent of the slow-moving tanks in formation I once operated. Being an Artist who draws inspiration from my immediate surroundings, the shiny metal street signs lining the highway and the industrial components that accent the city planted the seed to create this unique series —born from a desire to self-heal and transmute these uncomfortable emotions, “Tanks in traffic” transforms hardship and affliction into beauty and art.