I do not believe in a genre. I do not believe in a style. I do not believe in a single subject.
I believe painting is simply about two things: 1. You paint what you see. 2. You paint what you want. These are the most rewarding and the most difficult premises in regards to painting that I have experienced. In the end what you’re left with is work and the process of creating.
I believe in color.
I attempt a marriage between concept and emotion.
My aim in painting is to articulate my viewpoint on life.
An important element to my painting is the acceptance of accident, imperfection and an unfinished quality. I embrace accidents. I plan traps for myself that I must work through, like painting on a piece of paper that has random marks of paint on it from a previous painting. This forces me to adapt and seek something outside of my preconceived comfort zone. I do not seek imperfection, but if it occurs I accept it. I then consider that part of the “stripe” of the painting—it is now the painting’s burden, not mine.
Another very important element to my painting is violence. Violence is an aspect of painting that cannot be removed. Theodor Adorno said, “Paintings are mortal enemies.” I say a given piece of art is a record of either sheer destruction or restraint by the artist. Often I view my paintings like a detective, figuring out how to bring in, at all costs, the assailant (the painting) to be convicted once enough clues have been gathered in order to close the mystery—whatever it takes to chase the assailant down and see it locked up. Sometimes, however, I must act like a detective trying to console the family of the victims—utmost restraint and care must be displayed.
I am interested in cataloging and exploring various themes, a process which can produce a series of three paintings, a series of 30 paintings or a series that has 60 paintings and counting. Once the process of collation has started in a given series of paintings, the real point of the theme of the series starts to emerge through the control (group). It is against this criterion that the rest of the work in the series is compared and that context is found.
The through-line of all of my art is the belief that inspiration for painting is universal. Whatever you throw at it, painting can take it and transmute it. It can transmute a film; it can transmute a memory. It can transmute literally anything. Rene Magritte posed that a painting of a pipe is not a pipe. Being an ardent admirer of Magritte’s work, I must disagree. I say that a painting of a pipe is indeed an actual pipe, if the artist says it is. Clement Greenberg said paint is paint; surface is surface. I say that paint is never just paint, unless the artist says so. If the artist says paint is a trumpet the artist is telling the truth. Physically an impossibility, but emotionally the same desire or inspiration it takes to play a trumpet can be put down on a surface with paint, and there before him is a real, true trumpet—just there in paint. What makes a trumpet a true trumpet? The brass or the breath blowing through it? If the brass of a trumpet is replaced with paint, the breath that would have been blown through that trumpet has been captured. Ceci est une pipe.