Artist Statement

The work is about nothing and everything all at once.

My artistic practice is grounded in representational and figurative painting and explores a dialogue between traditional and contemporary approaches to picture, materials, and process. I am interested in creating images that hover somewhere between memory and reality, imagined and remembered, true and false—to create images that reflect the moments between realities. I am searching for a sense of recognition but an uncertainty in where to place it, as if one is experiencing déjà vu. I seek to make imagery that appears ambiguously realistic and surrealistic all at once.

Often informed from found images (family photos, slides, home movies, etc.), the paintings are born out of an intuitive and direct painting approach, inviting unintentional and spontaneous opportunities to emerge. This act of interpretation and translation becomes a process of discovery, creating moments of revelation through the unexpected narratives that emerge. The work originates with a fascination in the form and style reflected in family photo albums and other vernacular forms of photography. I have a particular interest in the specific formats, colors, and styles of these images from that period influenced my work in many ways. As I’ve started to collecting images, I am struck by a sense familiarity with the people and places. There is a certain nostalgia that is communicated through those images that becomes integrated into my narratives.

I embrace a process that generates an unexpected dialogue through the translating and recontextualizing of imagery into new environments. Although rooted in familiar imagery, the work attempts to subvert our expectations of initial appearances, and even when unintentional, forces meaning through reconciling the ambiguous interactions depicted in images. The paintings become a composite of found imagery, invention, observation, and accident even though they may initially appear as coherent worlds.

Unanticipated interactions construct new meaning as people or places are extracted from their original context and recast into new spaces. I enjoy responding to the narrative content that develops through this interaction, often obscuring or distorting elements, reflecting a world that appears allegorical, metaphorical or poetic. Distancing or obscuring my personal connections to the subjects as much as possible, I respond to the idea that the people and places initially come from someone else’s experience. Removed from their original history, they are forced to negotiate new relationships within the painting, whether reconstructed into seemingly coherent worlds, fragmented in disjointed spaces, or placed into an entirely new environment.

As long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated with pictures. My earliest memories of art-making experiences involve drawing on pictures in my father’s newspapers and magazines. Even though I would get reprimanded, I was compelled to transform the images I found there. Still, there is this attraction to pictures and manipulating them into something of my own—into something new. Whether adding mustaches or altering other features, there was always an urge to amend and embellish existing images.

The representational components act as the foundation of the idea, but inevitably evolve as I work to bring them to life. The imagery often originates from found photographic resources, but by the conclusion of a painting they become inextricably intertwined with my own observations, memories, and inventions. While the source materials are the starting point, providing my practice structure, many of the elements develop through a painting process that invites more intuitive and spontaneous outcomes. I embrace my tendency to approach painting as an active dialogue with the material and the subject. The natural push and pull of my process opens up the possibility for unexpected moments, letting accident and serendipity act as a form of discovery. Asserting, negating, and reasserting my observations invites the opportunity for unanticipated associations and implicit connections to emerge. The suggestion of a larger narrative is implied but often remains veiled and must be excavated.

I am particularly interested in what the viewer brings to their interaction with a painting.