My mind and body have always been full of thoughts and reactions to current events, and especially of recent politics; as an artist, I use paint as my physiological and physical release. The byproduct of this process creates a window into my sense of helplessness through my artwork.
I have normally been using oil on canvas or wood panels that I make. Originally, I painted about things I felt strongly about: It is very cathartic. I usually used a naturalism portrait in the work, but later I became more abstracted. I also began to make politics the theme. I have been horrified by the current state of politics. The outrageous lies have become normal. Logic is out the window. I can't imagine how horrible the future might be, but painting about it is soothing.
Recently, my interest in portrait painting has changed allowing me to consider content in a new way while avoiding superficiality. I find myself often concentrating a specific news article, event, or other media; however, I am attempting to open the narrative and not limit the visitor’s experience with an overhanded rant. In a recent exhibition, there are more than 50 pieces of single-use plastic that have portraits of actual people that I have talked to painted on them. Each person gave me a piece of single-use plastic and I took a photo to paint from or painted them in person. It was the first installation that I have created: a kinetic sculpture representing a dying animal. I hope the simulation of a dying animal surrounded by human created plastic links the exhibition through horror, empathy, and disgust. I was appalled by the subject matter for the exhibition: Ocean Plastic Pollution. Imagine if our portrait identified all the single use plastic we each discard. Imagine our shame when we truly see ourselves in images of the Pacific Garbage Patch or a cut open a dead whale filled with tons of plastic with one piece showing our portrait.
My second installation is a 12' high hourglass made of rope and steel. I collaborated with two other artists: Tiffany Seav, and Jose Castillo. In the top of the hourglass there are many items that people donated, representing themselves. In the bottom, there is only burnt wood. It represents our horror and sadness about the fires in California in 2018, and our connection with them.
I also did a performance piece. I heard someone say that "painting is dead," so, I bought a pulse jet, a kind of jet engine, and used it to alter a painting. Pulse jets are extremely loud and crazy, so the act of doing it was the main part of the project.
I am continuing to evolve, and I am returning to painting on canvas or wood panels to express a more personal experience of the pain and joy that I feel.