Statement

I am a painter, printmaker and sculptor.  My interdisciplinary practice is grounded within one broad interest: the negotiation and navigation of unregulated spaces and the methods and hazards that exist therein.  To address this broad question, I am motivated to create a humorous exploration of the lines between ‘painting an object’ and ‘painting as an object.’  Rather than make art that delivers this statement, I find asking further questions and pointing out these moments in our everyday lives is more accessible and visually satisfying. 

Addressing unregulated spaces is a vast area of study and is applicable to seemingly unrelated considerations:  from art relative to site specificity all the way to our planet’s international zones.  As a point of entry, my focus is the marine environment.  Taking to the water is a deeply substantial part of our collective histories and modern existence.  It embodies all of the challenges, dangers, triumphs, and absurdities that come with the territory.  This absurdity, the false sense of security, greater (natural) powers, our need to harness those powers, the dangers we work around and the damage we return to this environment: that is what drives me to make.  The more my viewer uncovers about the relationship and materiality between works, the more my interests are revealed.  Within this context, I find the physical principals of displacement, buoyancy and perception to be most communicative. 

The subjects in paintings and prints are constructed through traditional still-lives or altered photographic sources.  By taking full authorship of the environment the subjects are placed within, I begin to alter the viewer’s sense of scale, what is real, and where the logic of a picture can be disrupted.  Having classical training in representation, I am able to remove my ‘hand’ from the work as much as possible.  This enables me to insert a strange, disconnected or deceptive quality onto a two-dimensional surface, resulting in a sort of truthful surrealism and perceived reality. 

In the sculptural works, I remain faithful to original design elements and materiality, but take away the viewer’s familiarity with the object by altering either the physical form or the intended functional operations.  The PFD’s [the objects] are made out of cotton or nylon canvas and filled with polyester (instead of natural kapok fiber sealed with plastic sheeting), making them completely useless in function.  The Flotables are constructed out of industrial, marine-grade materials and designed to stand up to the elements, while at the same time appearing to look like oddly shaped traditional canvas painting supports.  In both scenarios, opposing sides are painted with white and safety orange or 'razzle-dazzle' camouflage stripes, both of which are universally understood signaling color-ways.  My aim is to achieve a synthesis of sculpture (functional or not) and a monochrome/blank canvas.  Perhaps there is a joke in there about clinging to painting for survival? Or painting itself needing a flotation device?