I enter my workspace ready to do battle.
The initial approach is decidedly physical: it involves gouging and scratching, then using waterproof India ink to imprint, infuse, and splatter the surface. The visual result is chaotic. While I yearn for balance and clarity, I am resisting any intellectual noise that might interrupt the work. This is always a struggle.
The surface of the piece is textured and scarred by lines and indentations created by these visceral gestures. During the layering process, some of these marks remain visible. At this stage, the work is an exercise in relinquishing control and nothing is predetermined. Once the foundation is laid, I engage in the dialectic between the unconscious and the aesthetic. Gestures slowly become more deliberate; I choose colors, applied in various degrees of opacity, for their potential impact on the shapes that emerge. Figures are often recognizable forms from the natural world - with human or animal-like features. The hand is especially present: it is what destroys and creates, what is used to touch and feel. Feet or shoes also appear frequently: they ground us or help us run.
The push and pull of the process reflects the complexities and contradictions that are recurrent themes in my pieces: myths & assumptions, identity & legacy, power & loss. My paintings expose often irreconcilable feelings of belonging and alienation, desire and flight, conflict and resolution.
In my work, elements of the female figure are partial, contorted or otherwise misrepresented and take on a bolder symbolic value: women bow or rise to the invisible pull of expectations, and in the process we often lose ourselves, disassemble or dissociate. We are trained to perform, and end up resenting the pressures, redundancies and limits of our multidimensional roles. We are never enough, never whole, never fully represented. Especially in the art world.
The work is deliberately challenging to read, but not impossible. It requires visual and emotional perceptions of the viewer. Color and movement strike first, symbology provides familiarity. Choosing a title is essential as a verbal conclusion, providing a lexicon to enter into conversation with the piece.
Acrylic and India ink on canvas
56" x 65"