The western world we live in could be defined by bundles of images — supposed reflections of the things we value, the things we want to highlight, the things we want to sell, and often the essence of certain ideals. We are inundated with messages: shouts from across highways and grocery aisles and emanating out of the incessant glow of our digital screens. Color and shape are powerful manipulators in terms of the way we see and think about these images, creating a myriad of associations through the experience of geography, time, and culture. The use of color or lack thereof has come to represent quality, sophistication, money, and religion. Pastel hues decorate American hotels and hospitals in goals of inoffensive rest and attempts to soothe. Primary color combinations become relegated to simple directives of play, joy or imperative traffic coordinates. Black and white are the hardest hitters of sophistication and statement, standing as symbols for utterances of protest, surrender, humility, moral purity, quiet and death.
What is the determining factor that infuses color with its respective connotations? Is it the context of its environs or the way in which it is used, combined and contrasted against itself in certain recipes which determine meaning and influence? Is this simply the result of cultural habit or something inherent in the colors themselves? Within the context of image making, what does it look like, to opt out of the status quo? What is the visual language of resistance to the noise? Can that stillness, by definition, even exist? Or is even the effort simply an addition to the fray? My paintings are intended to slow down the constant feed, to encourage the viewer to reposition themselves in relation to who they are, what they see, where the body exists in time and space.
They are images born of countless color notebooks – combinations that pique discomfort or incite strange pleasure to remember for later use. These chromatic finds are combinations that exacerbate the eccentricity or electricity of the pairing, and the result is a designed tension, a random and candid snapshot of an abstract universe. The title of each piece is designed to mimic the visual juxtapositions found within the paintings — more wrenches thrown in the engines of more machines. I love titles that are imperatives or which embody my sense of sonic humor: lyrical non sequiturs that ironically promote new poetry. I’m Listening, My Pony and The Gun On The Table Isn’t Mine are some such titles. My goal is, in the end, to create a language of the antithesis of referent, made of shapes and
colors that describe what we forget to question. It is a stage set for stillness and odd poetics. I work out of the history of art and language, hoping to continue its arc as limbic storyteller, the story being one of the existence of a time. I think of these works as divining rods for the places outside of language and consider the viewer a participant whose significance rivals the image.
I struggle with elements of restraint and freedom, the traits required to be good in the world, to know when to speak and when to celebrate silence. I believe these paintings to be compiled of small moments, to embody notes on existence. As whole works, they vacillate between the histories of philosophy, art, and design, searching for the space in which we will discover new vision and thus new thinking. I have built in their structures an honest cache of questions and propositions that lead to what I see as new language. The honesty is in the acknowledgement of both history and visual culture as I see it now- its failings, its accuracy and its redundancy. The questions are in its hedging of legibility. The proposition is the opting in or out of the viewer.
I am an oil painter because the truth of the medium is in its revelatory accuracy as a recorder of moments; in its characters are held the raw violence of truth or the slow and languid eddy of dammed waters. It reveals neuroses and describes the world we live in with the poignancy of our best poets. I am attempting to write with paint what I want to see in poems - an intoxicating tenuousness that mirrors the fragile experience of being alive.