In this collection of paintings, I draw from a variety of visual sources, interests, and personal penchants, freely mixing imagery and painting techniques like a hip-hop artist remixes sound bites. Previously it was my habit to work within a strict construct, and series titles reflected the particular theme. Here, “Untitled” suggests the choice not to be constrained by a tightly-defined conceptual framework. After exploring this approach for some time, I read David Byrne’s book How Music Works, which further refined my thinking as an artist. My ongoing Extemporal Suite series, in which images are randomly juxtaposed, echoes Byrne’s intuitive method of songwriting, and proved to be good practice for this current work. My goal is to make art that generates an emotional response in the viewer, to construct, as Byrne puts it, “devices that tap into our shared psychological make-up.”
The constant in virtually all of my work is the human form, which has always held a fascination for me. I can’t escape the specter of Western art history, especially where it pertains to the female figure, so my approach is to embrace this history with a critical eye. Ongoing thematic interests such as gender identity, body image, and the male gaze merge with such unlikely things as eighteenth century landscape painting, graphic design, portraiture, and pop culture. Friends and acquaintances act as collaborator “models,” bringing their own thoughts and interests (and whatever else) to the table. As we improvise scenarios I take hundreds of photographs. Later through a long trial and error process I digitally manipulate select images, combining them with graphic elements and applying various painting techniques to arrive work intended to invoke multiple interpretations and narratives.