Each of my paintings tells a story. They are based on things I see, read about, and watch on TV, as well as memories of events, feelings and colors – the pink of my favorite childhood bathing suit, the first time I told a lie. Color, form and pattern combine to become conversations, expressions, and events. When I paint I try to find the balance between intuition and intellect, so that the process of painting becomes an active dialogue with the phenomena of nature. By not dictating the end result I am receptive to a deeper understanding of the world around me. The paintings are like dreams – the events of the day reorganized and combined with other events and memories until a new, often surprising, reality has taken shape.
Giampietro Gallery, February 2020
While previous bodies of work focused on memories of past events and emotions, these new pieces have unfolded in response to life events happening in real time. Painting is a way for me to digest and process experience and emotion and offers a way to retell the story or at least to make peace with it. The process involves an exchange between assertion and denial which ideally ends in acceptance and resolution, keeping the mind calm in order to avoid a mutiny.
The titles of the paintings play an integral role in the final piece. While they allude to the subject matter of the painting they ultimately keep the viewer at a distance -- you are invited in but then kept at bay. Spray paint and squeegee provide a fast way of cancelling out or covering up the ugliness, exposure and fear allowing a new (if damaged) slate on which to begin again.
UNDER THE APPLE TREE
Giampietro Gallery, September 2017
This particular body of work focuses on transitions and change and the violence and inevitable resistance that come along with it. In order for the caterpillar to turn into the butterfly it must digest itself with its own enzymes. For one to move forward, things must be left behind -- how do you decide what stays and what goes? Do you keep the baby or does it get thrown out with the bath water? The Apple Tree can be seen as a sanctuary or a shelter, or it can be seen as beautiful temptation, offering poisonous fruit. In Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, the apple tree exists to make the boy happy, offering fruit to eat, branches to swing on and lumber to build a house. The boy returns as a tired old man and the tree, having sacrificed everything, has nothing left but a stump for him to sit on.
“And the tree was happy…but not really.”