In my latest paintings I am exploring the relationship between two aspects of my work that have fascinated me for years: linear formalism and naturalism. Namely, how to create a space that is both a formal system and a depiction of the natural world. Sometimes the relationship is expressed through a particular chromatic palette in a formal rhythm of lines. Sometimes the relationship is expressed through the literal fading away of a formal system into the surface of the canvas. I use thin glazes of oil pigment and gesso and smooth the surface with steel wool and sandpaper to achieve these effects, overlaid on an acrylic ground. These works are an expression of the twin aspects of formalism and naturalism and how to create a space where they coexist.
Paintings are illusions. But the medium and the surface together generate a reality: an object but also a reaction from the viewer. Whatever impulse to communicate inspires a painting, the object that comes from that desire becomes its own reality. And the process of conveying an idea in paint alters it, sometimes to a degree where the original idea is unrecognisable: the hand isn’t merely doing the bidding of the mind. This is what makes the creative process so exciting to me. This is why I paint.
I was born in the United States, in 1972. As a young child, my parents took me to the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, a wonderland of Renaissance and Baroque paintings. I credit my desire to make art with this initiation. I studied art history and visual arts at Rutgers University and Mason Gross School of the Arts, graduating with a dual honours degree in 1999. Since graduation I have worked as an auction-house specialist at Sotheby’s, curator for a private art collector and director of an arts foundation. From 2015, painting has been my career.