My latest work is a series of large, densely hued paintings composed of cut out fragments glued together to create various visual planes. They are varnished watercolor on paper mounted on canvas, often with attached objects or materials. The resulting enlarged images and moody atmospheres are an attempt to create an eerie, disquieting transcendence, drawing the viewer into an inner world of emotional and sensual conflict.
Viewers are encouraged to participate in the paintings/installations as an “absent presence”. The large scale and sensuality of the medium invite entrance into each situation. Objects inhabit ambiguous spaces, reminiscent of stage settings where numerous symbolic levels are presented to the audience using backdrops. The viewer may experience an emotional potpourri, depending on the individual’s base associations with the symbols.
There is a strong affinity to Surrealism, which sought to release the creative potential of the subconscious by the irrational juxtaposition of images. Representational depiction often lends credibility to unlikely scenarios. A viewer may conclude that there must be truths involved if someone bothers to paint it realistically. Like a still from an imaginary newsreel, a moment in a confusing journey is captured and presented as a moving but conflicted experience. A sensual and vibrant environment stages a beautiful but somewhat dangerous slice of life.
People and objects in modern society are often found out of context or alienated from predictable settings. Life is complicated and so are the conflicting emotions we experience. My art is about these clashes and the necessity to produce one’s own metaphysical symbols, one’s own myths, one’s own spirituality. Yet the hope and peace in the paintings seem to lay beyond the barriers, abysses or ambiguity, hence the discord.
The contrasts -- hard and soft, dark and light, warm and cold, peaceful and threatening -- are juxtaposed against each other, giving complexity to outwardly simple paintings. I want the work to resonate, to vibrate on a frequency that sets off a chain reaction of personal associations and comparisons. I hope the viewer shares the tension inevitably lurking behind the beauty.
French Carousel Over Mass Pike, watercolor on paper on canvas, 58" x 76"