Artist Statement

 

 

I am interested in representation and the ways in which surfaces—the two dimensional surface of the painted canvas, and the shifting surface of identities we construct as we navigate daily life—perform for and seduce the viewer.

 

In my recent series, Rituals, I address the relationship between the body, identity, and material accumulation. In a culture disconnected from its spiritual roots and emptied out of magic I am interested in exploring the ritualized consumerism and obsessive self-representation that has replaced it.  The subjects of my paintings self-consciously enact their rituals, forming a pseudo-religious symbology of objects and gestures that represent a search for meaning and authentic experience.  The imagery in this series draws from a wide variety of sources including contemporary fashion, Catholic iconography, early photography, and Victorian Spiritualism.

In Artifice, I explore the relationship between consumerism, adornment, and the performance of a feminine identity.  Reccuring motifs such as the white-painted face, strings of pearls, and a series of stiff self-conscious poses, engage the dynamics of the traditional male gaze and representations of the female body in art and life.

 

Mirroring these ideas is the literal accumulation of found papers on the surface of the wood panel. Scraps of patterned wallpaper and vinyl veneer form a constellation around the figures, clinging to the drawn armature and defining blank space.  This makeshift environment then falls away into an abstraction that betrays the painting's thin, mask-like quality.

 

“But certainly for the present age, which prefers the sign to the thing signified, the copy to the original, representation to reality, the appearance to the essence,…illusion only is sacred, truth profane.”

–Ludwig Feuerbach, Preface to the Essence of Christianity