STATEMENT

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.

AFTERMATH
The Front, 131 Chrystie St, NYC, December 2022

The paintings in this show were made in the last three years during a time in which everything in my life and the world at large was turned upside down. I think of each piece as the end-product of a feeling, an encounter, a trauma. They are what remain after the experience has been processed – coffee grinds, a chalk outline, the hair in the drain. State of mind has replaced memory as the subject of this work; the end result is a collection of paintings that is at times whimsical and at times melancholy.

SETTING FIRES
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.”

THESIS: WILLIAM FAULKNER, FOREST BESS & MATSUO BASHO
May 2005

Painting is about breaking down barriers and exploring the unknown. It is about searching for answers to elusive questions about our relationship to the world and to the people around us. Faulkner, Bess, and Basho are three artists who, I believe, managed to tread the middle ground between reality and vacuity, or the known and the unknown. They did this by staying close to nature and close to the everyday life that they knew best. I, like Faulkner, Bess, and Basho, sense an underlying system, an inseparability of human consciousness and nature. It is the possibility of reciprocation of energy and understanding between the artist and natural phenomena that drives me to paint.

READ THE THESIS