Pictured above: Castles, 2016, oil on panel, 24 x 24 inches
What interests me about art is it’s entanglement with life: not imitation, but intimation. The Ur mysteries of being, consciousness, life itself….in a blossom, a cityscape, a figure, a myth, the appearance of an infinitely manifold consciousness “playing a cosmic game of hide and seek with itself”, to borrow a phrase of Joseph Campbell’s. I have just recently been diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy, and so now see my practice in light of an attempt to stay a step ahead of the collapsing patterns in the fabric of reality that I had been seeing for years and years (my seizures took the form of intense feelings of deja vu, without loss of consciousness) and how making pictures, to me, had always been about time, memory, reality, and trying to understand the layered matte of gestures, feelings and ideas that constitutes “the self”, and, thus, “reality”. The picture plane is the perfect metaphor for the the semi-opaque mirrors of our own self consciousness, in situ.
I am employed as an architectural designer for small firm on the Central California Coast that specializes in energy efficient design, and I see my process as a dialogue between the architectural impulse to control, analysis, stasis and construction (drawing) and the impulse towards freedom, movement, momentum, erasure (painting). I feel this dialogue represents the larger concerns of human beings’ relationship with their environment, and is a chief consideration in both my art and my design practice.
It is the happening of a picture that I cultivate, trying to remain sensitive to the magic of it’s appearance, the music that comes through; synesthesia. The trick is to recognize when a picture is flawed in the most meaningful ways, and, then, stop. Make the next picture. In that way a history can be devised: a mythology of the artist as an experiment. My pictures are always rooted in life--moments, memories, ideas and snapshots I carry through series of translations, interruptions, and elaborations in various media. In this way, I see my work as a type of mythologizing process, in that, a process whereby specificity and universality are put into a tacit and dynamic relationship with one another.
About the trees: in mythical narratives, people transform into trees to escape impending tragedy or conquest; the gesture signifies a sublimation of the divine infatuation (called “ate” in ancient Greek) that brought ruin and suffering to mortals who became the objects of it’s gaze. It is very rare that the mythologic forms anything so discreet and logical as a chain; much more often, what we see and feel when myth is at work is a web, a net, the “nexus rerum, the connection of everything with everything else, which alone gives meaning to life”. So, the pictures are an exploration of this mechanism, a reaction to the divine presence in every moment, and all of nature, and a desperate quest for reconciliation of "the human" and "the natural" in this crucial moment, calling for a shift in consciousness towards environmental awareness, activism, innovation and wide spread social evolution.