Artist Statement

I make medium to large-scale oil paintings and am interested in the process of painting from photographic images and collages to create fragmented portraits of figures. I photograph people from multiple angles and create collages to use as a source for my paintings. This fragmentation gives my paintings a cinematic element, almost as if the fragments are stills to a sequence of a film or an animation. It also creates a visual, emotional, and psychological element of disconnect. I use repetition within the composition by depicting the figures in multiple angles and poses, but keep them visually similar enough to create a readable flow.

The composition of fragmented figures in an abstracted background represents themes such as displacement, confusion, contemplation, and unrest. The figures are either looking to the side, off into the distance, or have their eyes closed. This causes a feeling of both isolation and reflection. It also provides a dreamlike state of memory, inner reflection, and nostalgia.

My paintings are poetic in the sense that they reveal moments often gone unnoticed, such as glances/expressions, fleeting emotions and gestures, and visual patterns such as the sunlight on one’s face, the twisted vines of a plant, or the intricate patterns in clothing. The use of light plays a large role in the paintings by creating contrast and an atmosphere, which can be seen as spiritual. I also express the concept of time and age through my use of figures. When I include multiple fragments of the same figure, I am interested in the way that they relate to and differ from each other. In a sense, they can be thought of as a memory or representation of phases in one’s life. I am interested in the changes that come with experience, age, relationships, and inner reflection. I want tell a story through my paintings and challenge the viewer to analyze the pieces and how they relate to them. The sense of belonging, loss, and absence also play into my work through use of cut off figures, faces, and limbs throughout the compositions. I create a sense of belonging and intimacy within my paintings by using subject matter that one may relate to and form a relationship with, even if it is only through the sense of observing and internalizing the figures’ expressions and the mental states they are in.

I use line throughout my composition to tie different fragments together. The painting, “Man with Plant,” shows an old man observing and pruning the dead leaves off of a plant. The vines of the plant hang down in front of him, disrupting his figure. However, they also give the painting a sense of symbolism, rhythm, and depth. The use of large-scale paintings in my work is that it connects the viewer with the figure in a confronting and intimate manner. The use of disconnect relates to domesticity through the existence and relationships with the people who inhabit one’s environment. I use layering and transparency to blend fragments together, creating a flow or juxtaposition between images and the connections between them.

Both the figures and backgrounds in my paintings have a pallet similar to David Hockey, often using bright tones and a variety of colors. Some of my influences include Eric Fishl, Lucian Freud, Sally Mann, Annie Leibovitz, and Diane Arbus. These artists use portraiture to represent the figure in realistic and symbolic ways. Eric Fishl and Lucian Freud create domestic and dreamlike environments often juxtaposing them with unexpected elements or figures. My work also has a domestic sense to it, including figures that are familiar to me and are painted in a detailed, expressive manner, which makes the viewer think twice about their perception of the mundane and familiar elements in ones’ life.

Annie Leibovitz and Sally Mann portray their subjects with a great deal of intimacy. Mann’s work is carefully posed and portrays her family and friends in symbolic settings, often expressing they’re vulnerability and sexuality. Their gestures and Mann’s use of light bring awareness of her intentions as an artist and confronts the viewer with many themes such as innocence, age, and gender.

My paintings show an interruption of everyday life, through daily observation of the people and situations in ones’ surroundings and also the psychological and dreamlike state that interrupts one’s thinking. I want the viewer to reflect on their perceptions of their relationships, situations, inner thoughts and feelings, along with the however large or small experiences that they face everyday.