“I use the words you taught me. If they don't mean anything any more, teach me others. Or let me be silent.”
― Samuel Beckett, Endgame
These paintings are investigations and expressions of absurdity where objectivity collides with the idiosyncratic. I am interested in creating beautiful and logically impossible images by using process to distort natural realities that are usually terrifying, unsettling, or dangerous to the human condition. Also intrinsic to my practice are certain theoretical conversations that revolve around the tradition of painting—mainly those that center around “painting as illusion” and “painting as object.”
My process begins with micrographs of systems that are invisible to the human eye, such as viruses, cancer cells, and other infective agents. I make drawings from these sources, and then scan them and manipulate them in Photoshop and Illustrator. These are then projected onto a painting surface, where I trace them and re-introduce my personal style of mark-making. A hybrid image emerges—one that is simultaneously digitally produced and hand-rendered. Also at work is an active process of the unraveling of associations between signifier and signified---by the revealing, concealing, and distorting of visual elements
At this point, materials and ideas about painting come into play. In this body of work, I am working between two realms—one considers painting a window into another reality, and the other a constructed object. I embrace the gray areas between these two ideals. On one hand, I make no attempt to hide the materials I use; the paintings are on panels, and I allow the wood grain to show in the work. I also apply areas of brightly-colored paint in a manner where brush strokes are visible and obvious to the viewer. In this way, I embrace the “object-ness” of the painting.
In other ways, I choose to do the exact opposite and create an illusion of space. Some of the shapes are achieved by using matte-black paint. I apply the paint so that it is very smooth, and no brush strokes are discernible. It creates the impression of a void or hole in the surface of the painting. These areas imply a separate reality than what is actually there, or something “other than.”
The paintings become personal reflections on the gray-areas that surround meaning and significance in visual culture. My intention is to destabilize, reinterpret, and expand upon how we inhabit the images that populate the contemporary world.