I have explored figure/ground relationships for as long as I’ve been painting. While I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to paint as early on in college, after making many still life paintings and studying the work of Cézanne, I realized that I was attracted to issues of space in the modernist sense. I enjoyed using color and mark to pull negative space forward and push positive space back in order to unify the whole and assert a level of flatness that was indicative of twentieth century painting. I loved working from life but wanted my paintings to be read in an abstract fashion so that the paintings didn’t present as observational studies but as things unto themselves. I wanted each work to have its own identity.
My work is informed by my interest in psychology and eastern philosophy. My interest in the interplay of figure and ground aligns with my interest in the mutual depency of all things. While both figure and ground may appear quite well delineated in my work, the interplay between the two is so strong that not one is more important than the other. Like yin and yang, figure and ground push and pull and assert themself in a way that creates a interdependency between the two. They each take their own turn in being most prominent.
I intentionally stay away from making marks that can be read as brushstrokes. In a further attempt to give my paintings a sense of their own identity, I want them to appear as if they just manifested without a clear sense of how. While some of my process may be readily apparent, I do want to imbue the work with a sense of mystery, leaving the viewer either wondering how they were made or possibly not caught up in that aspect of the work at all. The work simply declares itself as itself with few references to traditional painting processes.
I consider each painting as a self-portrait of sorts. Exactly what each portrait reveals about the subject remains elusive. Shapes of color appear stripped away pulled back or masked off in order to reveal or preserve previous layers of paint. This visible layering alludes to the idea that the figure itself is fluid and ever changing. The figures are monumental, definitive and undeniable yet also appear transient and are hard to pin down. These paintings are inquiries into the self and the nature of self.