I think a lot about how things can be deeply meaningful and profoundly superficial at the same time. In this context, I think the way we make, look at, and share images is remarkable. I navigate this, most often, from a distance, part of my perceived lack of belonging. Yet, like most, I want to fit in. I am fascinated with how we use and translate images to connect. Images operate as a type of visual currency and record of living. I often think about how pictures in our current internet age really define us, locate us, when their identity is suspicious, their use out of control yet fleeting, and their sharing at times hollow and often misleading. Yet, it is what we have, to connect, to share, to belong.
My work explores my relationship to and insecurities with culture and identity, social interpretation, and how we apply meaning personally and irrationally through pictures and media. Through social media I can, from a distance, vicariously and voyeuristically connect to culture and identity. I borrow other peoples’ images. I copy pictures I find online that I like, find important, pretty, or sometimes funny. I translate, pixelate, edit, and try to copy and re-solidify these pictures through material, to construct something both deeply meaningful and profoundly superficial.
The nature of painting provides a distance as well. In our digital age, it is clearly outdated yet the emotionally and socially wrought interface seems to fit quite well as a medium to deal with our contemporary view of images. Could paint and its functions in a digital landscape (it being a physical object, with perceived historical significance and value, most accurately experienced in person, yet often shared online) begin to offer a new vantage point to openly reconstruct a type of placement, a grounded location?
Painting can operate at once as something so familiar that it feels safe and as an invitation to something new. I intend to have my work be attractive, yet subtly subvert. The act of painting, my analogue decisions, and mistakes, as well as the use of readable and unrecognizable images cause a shift in message or experience. Every mark, like the pixel, contains nothing yet simultaneously it contains everything. Maybe, through the translation of this work, we are located, we belong, if only for a moment.
Picture from my old gigantic studio circa 2013