The main focus of my work is the use of the human figure in a narrative format towards the development of an individual and personal mythology. My desire is not for all viewers to draw one unified narrative from these paintings, but for them to be able to feel intuitively the underlying themes that exist within the work; the tenderness, and fragility that are so central to being human.
I like the idea of documenting: of developing invented genealogies. I like to examine the implications of the subtle tensions that exist within the gesture and pose and use of props in formal portraiture. In this respect I feel a certain kinship to the Na´ve American Painters of the early 19th century. Although severed from the European Master-apprenticeship tradition, they still strove to make beautiful and technically accomplished work, while also allowing room for the development of a personal stylization, a unique short-hand that speaks honestly to the materials and training that was available to them, and the environment in which they existed. I am also drawn to the more poetic use of symbolism found in Latin American painting, as well as the Magical Realism literary movement.
Subtlety of gesture, balanced compositions, and a sense of stillness- of worlds without air captivate me. When I paint flesh I try to work it to the point of looking frozen, as if made of porcelain: flesh that reveals the distance between the shell and the soul behind it.
I often use animals as central figures within my paintings. They carry a curious psychological weight, in part because we are never sure how much emotion and sentience is to be truthfully ascribed to them. They also exist outside of society. They are free of much of the extraneous baggage that any human subject will introduce (via clothing, hairstyle, etc...) I like them for the symbolic connotations that they carry in the development of a mythology. I also am intrigued by the simpler concept that the nature/character of a person can be found in the manner in which they interact with animals.