“Untitled” (Still in Progress)
In the “Untitled,” series I draw from a variety of visual and historical sources and interests, mixing imagery and techniques like a recording artist mixes sound and styles.
The “Untitled,” series draws from a variety of visual and historical sources and interests, mixing and layering imagery and techniques similar to the way a recording artist mixes sounds and musical styles. A couple things influenced this approach. Musician, writer, and artist, David Byrne’s book How Music Works reinforced thoughts I’ve had about approaching art-making intuitively. My ongoing Extemporal series, in which images are spontaneously juxtaposed, echoes Byrne’s method of songwriting, and acts as research and development for the Untitled series. My intent is to make art that generates emotional responses, invoking multiple interpretations and narratives, what Byrne calls: “devices that tap into our shared psychological make-up.”
Human subjects are the constant though almost all of my work. I approach Western art history with a critical eye, especially where it pertains to the human figure. Thematic threads throughout my work address such things as gender identity, body image, the male gaze, and various art historical tropes. Drawing from such sources as Romantic landscape painting, graphic design, historical portraiture, and pop culture, I often mix Renaissance and baroque naturalism with the modernist flattening of space.
Friends and acquaintances act as collaborator/models for these works, introducing their own ideas, props, and clothing items. I take hundreds of photographs as we improvise poses and scenarios; nothing is planned in advance. This spontaneity introduces an added element of chance to the process. Later Selected images are digitally manipulated and combined with other visual elements. I often employ randomized Google searches to generate unforeseen emotional associations. The digital imagery is then converted into paintings, undergoing yet another subjective transformation.