Artist Statement 2023
I paint from old snapshots of the 1960’s -1970’s, photographic fragments of my childhood. While they are not my own pictures, the paintings embody a collection of narratives at once nostalgic and related to autobiographical events. The source of each work is an object, a one inch roughly cut photo-fragment mounted on a white strip of paper like a postage stamp on an envelope. It sits on a field of white suitable as a tool that I call a paint swatch. I use it to match colors. The images are composed with consideration of what’s beyond the cut print. Translated to the canvas, irregular edges are left exposed to almost bare mimicking the paper outside the photograph. The subjects are sometimes paint splattered, scratched or include photo-lab dates. These elements and others find their way into the paintings and hint at its photographic origin, pushing further away from the photographic image itself. I am interested in the mis-en-abime and often consider this riddle: If you paint a landscape from a cut photograph, is it a still life or a landscape painting?
The canvases are layered in acrylic and oil. I paint washes, fluid acrylic and thick to thin oils on a toned ground. As an expressive painter, I am interested in brushwork that reveals a variety of paces: fast and provisional, slow and precise. I want the uncertainty and struggle apparent - a sort of mapping of time.
The paintings start with drawing and blocking out the subject in fluorescent acrylic pairing the compliment of the original colors to a fluorescent one, for example, a dusty rose will layer a fluorescent green or a mustard yellow, a fluorescent violet. The chalky pastel palette of the faded photographs are pulled from the interiors and textiles of the era. Combining the two contrasting tones acquiesces vibrating edges where traces of light peek through the surface. The work is an amalgam of associations between vintage memorabilia, color and materiality.