Artist Statement

In my paintings, realistic subjects are re-imagined as artifice. I exaggerate color and texture to create an unnatural interpretation of people and objects. My subjects are rendered in isolation, floating within the void of a stark gradient and framed by symmetrical shapes reminiscent of architectural elements. I use synthetic color and overemphasize texture, leading to an uncanny, surreal scene. Surfaces are rendered in a visceral manner, some reading as translucent or improbably reflective. I think of all of my paintings as portraits, and those not depicting a person instead depict objects, which I have deemed suitable stand-ins for human beings. The compositions and treatment of light reference commercial portrait photography, positioning objects to elicit a similar emotional response from the viewer as the human figure.

The painted gradients in all of my work reject the brush and hand; the color transitions are hardly distinguishable from digital production. Multiple layers cover each and are blended until every mark is eliminated: a technique which mimics digital fabrication, despite my working solely with the boundaries of oil paint, a substrate, and the hand. This act in itself is a tongue-in-cheek slight, given the limitless potential of achieving such pristine images with the aid of technology. Choosing to create these images using traditional painting methods is both humbling and intentionally defiant. Compositionally, geometric shapes are often used as a frame around a frame, demarcating an entryway into an empty place, creating a lens as the viewer’s point of view. Through the pristine level of finish in my subject matter, I participate in the historical tradition of realistic portraiture and still life painting. In contrast, hyperbolic color palettes and juxtapositions of these objects against abstracted formal elements allow me to situate my pieces in a fictional, artificial space, both highlighting and re-contextualizing reality.