‘It Will Warm You Twice’ is a triptych constructed entirely of tens of thousands of cigarette and mini cigars. The choice of materials utilized for this large-scale mosaic is both a reference to the ubiquitous role that tobacco has played in the development and history of Durham, North Carolina, as well as the decline of its influence.
Early English explorers to Durham called the area, ‘the flower of the Carolinas’. Shortly after that 1701 observation, colonists began to clear and work the super verdant land, most notably into the tobacco farms for which Durham would become famous. Riley’s piece, commissioned especially for 21C Museum Hotels new home in the Hill building, makes note of that shift in landscape from virgin forest to tobacco farms, and now to the current cycle of reinvention, as the shell of the Durham tobacco industry is repurposed as a cultural and metropolitan center.
Cigarettes on wood panel, 72" x 168"