An Artist's Statement, 2012
Pisces is a water sign, and usually marks a person who is very influenced by their surroundings. Each area in which I have resided, and everything that belonged to it is, in my mind, a piece of an unwritten history. I am particularly interested in the unique emotional response experienced at each waypoint in my life, and further, in the response felt by viewers who see the images that I have fabricated to represent these emotions.
Formally, my work tends to lean in one of two directions, being (most times) either primarily representational or non-representational. Within representational pieces, abstractions become apparent up-close. Artists can, upon scrutiny of some subject of their desire, develop ways of “shorthanding” the image, creating it half from the subject itself, and half from the artist’s own knowledge of it. First, I paint what I see, and then I paint what I know. Finally, I see what I know. I would argue that painting is inherently a series of abstractions up-close, no matter how mastered the skill of the painter. My non-representational work evokes images and emotions without illustrating them intentionally, thus giving the viewer more room for interpretation. There are two prevailing themes within the current abstractions in my work: gestural marks, and process. The use of gestural marks can bring the viewer closer to a relationship with the piece by alluding to a sense of humanity within a field of abstract paint by creating a subject or foreground. The processes that I implore in most abstractions, however, bring the pieces farther from human scrutiny or technique, and closer to natural imagery which most people recognize, but are not familiar with scientifically. Many of the processes that I utilize have actually helped shape the structure of natural space within our universe, without, of course, the medium of paint.
During my time spent in rural Michigan, movies were my main connection to the outside world. I believe that my fascination with the medium of film was my first real passion, stemming from the dramatization of the scenery within the films. Whether it was an epic landscape or glowing city skyline, these types of cinematographic images always seemed very distant, dreamy, or surreal to my younger self. The way in which filmmakers would manipulate lighting schemes to dramatize an environment had a profound effect on my experience and interaction with films. I’ve marked the use dramatic effect to emphasize aspects of imagery in my work as a direct result of such filmography. Since the times of my rural youth, I have moved on to more exciting places and people, and realized something of a fantasy life that I once only dreamed about. I have recently begun to think of myself as a sort of documentarian of the same sorts of images that moved me in my youth, except that my images are now taken from life. Even in non-representational work, I keep a documentarian sensibility in justifying the imagery. Each piece becomes the crystallization of a feeling, emotion, or gesture that I once felt, and then, it becomes immortalized in some medium, to be viewed and meditated upon.
I've learned to read and write about art and artists, cultures, and art history (among other things) throughout my years of academia. Here's a bit of food for thought.
Photo used under Creative Commons from seaternity