Reality. The term "reality" denotes what is real; in its widest sense, this includes everything that exists, whether or not it is observable or comprehensible. My paintings present an independent reality, a world that is dependent on our real world yet is separate from it. It is a world that exists on its own terms.
I am interested in what one could call 'ordinary fare'. I don't look for the exotic or the iconic. The scenes that I'm interested in are usually immediately familiar as social types and contemporary spaces. Within these unassuming locations, subjects, and situations, I try to tap into what I perceive as the endless narratives that happen around us all the time, without pushing any particular idea of defined storytelling onto the viewer.
I understand the city as a kind of construct, a fabrication that is intended to serve humanity in an organic, natural, and fluid manner. The city itself is a vast template for meaning, and it is inescapable that we absorb the meanings and intentions of the various images that we encounter throughout the urban fabric. However it is not these particular meanings that would generate a painting, as I do not intend for my paintings to have an outright describable interpretation or definition. The structure of the painting itself will create the meaning through the orchestration of an experience on the canvas. At their core, my works are architecturally more abstract than figurative, despite outward appearances. Consequently, I have frequently looked to early modernism – works by the cubists, the futurists, the constructivists, as well as contemporary abstract artists such as Kristin Baker, Tomma Abts, Albert Oehlen, among others as reference points. I work on individual pieces for extended periods of time, and what begins as non-objective eventually transforms into something that has been impregnated with identifiable elements from our world. The result is a pseudo-fabricated and sometimes surreal space that does not necessarily have a grounded connection to an actual place or time.
The reflective surface is a crucial component to most of my works. It is also one of the most prominent things that one finds in the contemporary city. I initially gravitated towards the usage of reflections as a means of depicting the 'disconnect' that pervades the urban experience, but have since delved further into the subject. I am fascinated by light, and it is light that defines form and creates space in our world. A reflection is an ephemeral response to light, but in a sense it is disconnected from the gravity of our world. If we allow for the possibility that the reflection is a state of 'non-gravity', then the possibilities that arise from it in terms of its usage for painting are boundless. In its sublime materiality, it allows a direct connection to the natural world as the primal state of glass is a liquid, and the reflection as seen through liquid dissolutions the world we know. If art is to present us with an independent state of reality, something that is based on what we know but creates something that is ultimately unknowable, then a subject as rationally slippery as the reflection is a means to this path. It allows us to see beyond ourselves and to twist and manipulate our vision of what is real. A new visual truth emerges, one that breaks the grid of the urban environment.
I can never predict the next painting with absolute certainty. Each painting brings with it a change of syntax that develops out of the previous finished work. Both the process and the subject matter can be chaotic, but in the end the environment is ordered and reconstituted through the act of making the paintings.