I appropriate from existing images sourced from disco, private Tumblr accounts, and late 70’s/early 80’s “tomboys” that have informed my identity and personal sense of self. I further manipulate these images by a creating a type of reassembled painting, one that combines masculine and feminine. I seek to explore micro-expressions, gender play, and the exploration of my coming of age as a queer person. Influenced heavily by glitch art and data moshing, I create meticulous watercolor and ink wash paintings in order to investigate the line that is straddled by abstraction and representation. I work in water media on paper to create a vulnerable object and a tender presence through my touch.
THREE DOLLAR ICONS AND CHIMERA
The images from these paintings are culled from headshots and promotional images of Hollywood’s golden era. Known initially for their celebrity, these faces have underground followings divorced from the mainstream gaze. They serve as icons for either lives they led privately or their fan followings. They are emblematic of complex identity projections, attitudes, and tragic personas. They are surrogate characters, familiar and beautiful. They are who we want to live into when we desire to see ourselves differently. I have made minor interventions by cutting, reassembling and finally, tenderly painting them in order to create a kind of fractured likeness, one that is simultaneously monstrous and seductively tactile.
This series of paintings relates to my interest in dichotomies: obscuring and revealing, attraction and repulsion, good and evil, the past and the present. Through a tediously crafted watercolor painting practice I seek to make something strange out of the ordinary. I am deeply interested in the interaction of parts and am attracted to the tactile in an increasingly technological and dehumanized time. I appropriate imagery from 19th century naturalist illustrators such as John James Audubon, Jacques Barraband and Elizabeth Gould and pair with superficially sensual subject matter to develop a pastiche that fractures both into the surreal and suggestive. I draw from sensual imagery sourced from internet searches, bodies, fabrics, shells, gems, flowers, etc. in order to open a curio chest that examines the 21st century obsession with all things slick and hollow. The images break from their original sources into fragments, creating a complex visual experience that both irritates and seduces. I paint these images to investigate the slippery definition of both desire and corporeality.
The romantic process of painting allows me to meditate on issues of gender, identity construction and beauty. Though the paintings are initially conceived of using digital processes, they are made employing a very purist approach to watercolor. In doing so, I endeavor to uphold these painting processes while dismantling the elitism with which they are often associated.
This ongoing body of work focuses on the aftermath of both man made and natural disasters. I have appropriated many of these photographic sources from Google image searches and taken images on location myself. I archive, then digitally collage the photographs in preparation for the paintings. I situate these images somewhere in between abstraction and representation in order to create a dialogue with modernist painting through postmodern practice. I draw and paint these images not only to further slow them down, but to also support traditional notions of the sublime landscape, one that is uncontrollably vast and frightening, within a contemporary context of anxiety and fear. I am both drawn to these images and repelled by them. They speak of a time where agenda setting, political rhetoric and consumption are perpetuated and often manufactured by the media. As mass media sets the psychological and emotional tone for life as we know it, I work in an attempt to differentiate neurosis from my own understanding of reality.
I appropriate imagery from art history in order to develop a pastiche that fractures the conventional male gaze and positions traditional models as both subject and spectacle. I choose to dismantle epic narratives from the past to create a schizophrenic perspective. The images break from their original sources into fragments, creating a complex visual experience that both irritates and seduces. These images paint art historical tropes as a kind of mended and restructured form, clearly incongruent with the original but familiar. I seek to formally repurpose art history in order to question the meta-narratives we've inherited. These stories are no longer our own, yet their influence will be long lasting.
Conventional wisdom is such that the female body has been the primary object of desire. These paintings serve to provide a context in which the male form elicits complex pleasure. The male nude in history is a topic that has enjoyed devoted interest and suffered abhorrent fear. Through this work I seek to question notions of the body politic and investigate representations of a gendered sexuality. This series of paintings relates to an interest in dichotomies- hiding and revealing, attraction and repulsion, good and evil, the past and the present. I have appropriated imagery from a variety of sources in order to develop a pastiche that reverses the gaze into a feminine one, positioning the male figure as both subject and spectacle. The paintings are created using techniques borrowed from the old masters, evocative of a time luxuriant in earthly pleasures and simultaneously, heavy with moral burden.