I’m looking for an emotional connection when I paint; the meaning hidden in ordinary things. At the same time I'm interested in the abstract organization of a painting, the energy of the marks, the structure of the color and other formal issues.
Social and cultural issues, identity and the individual human condition are subjects as much as composition. Power, time, desire, loss, ambiguity, the environment and who I am all are mixed in my work.
They flow concurrently with ideas about color and form. At times they seem to contradict to each other. Beautiful color can be used to seduce the viewer, but the image, subject or the way it’s painted can create doubt. To me this questioning is normal and part of everyday life; anxiety, uncertainty, order, chaos, beauty and death are always there.
They can be in a landscape, a face or a situation.
Paintings such as Tropical Shower, Signal Elegy, The Paranoid Forest Jail, Leaving Town, Power Transfer Station, and Tropical, for example, all reflect the ambiguity and dichotomies of living. I am drawn to the same subjects but I have painted them differently over time.
So there is always a struggle between the sheer joy of painting and the meaning of the painting.
I paint for myself, but I am interested in the responses of people I know. What does it mean to them? Often very different from what it means to me.
While working on something if I am completely engaged the result usually will feel genuine. That is my goal.
People look to art to understand their own identity and the times we live in. Those things are always changing. At the same time there is a primal core that cuts through changing tastes.
Ultimately, it is up to the viewers to interpret my work any way they wish.
I admire many artists who have challenged themselves with seemingly opposing styles and content during their careers. Philip Guston comes to mind, first his realism, then his lush abstractions, then later his political cartoon style; all deeply personal and emotive. He seemed to be looking for who he was and never being sure. This is true of Matisse, as well, the great colorist shifted from austere geometric design and very abstractly structured color to seductive color and sensuous nudes.
Manet painted his love of the sea air the same year he painted the Execution of Maximillion. There is an emotional center to these artists work which I deeply respond to. To me they are very complete artists.
For me, art is a matter of taking risks and building on those risks, wherever they may take me.
Quote: Joseph Conrad, "A work of art is seldom limited to one exclusive meaning and not necessarily tending to a definite conclusion. And for this reason the more it approaches a work of art, the more it acquires a symbolic character."