I am drawn to people, particularly strangers and those one might consider on the fringe of society. My portrait and figurative paintings depict people I encounter as well as conceptual characters. I exaggerate the most intriguing characteristics of my subjects. The works are a culmination of the physical and emotional traits of my subjects and my impression and reaction to each individual. For viewers my paintings may appear to be satirical messages, narratives, imaginative characterizations, or illustrations of a moment in time. I encourage all interpretations.
In my paintings of people, I work to capture a duality. A subject's confident, joyful, content self and their more vulnerable self. This dichotomy shapes us and manifests itself in our emotions, mannerisms and unique physical qualities. The lines on our face, the way our hair falls, the slump of our shoulders, the shape of our knuckles, and the sag of our breasts, all represent part of our lives, our experiences. These characteristics tell our story and offer insight into our heart and soul.
Human interaction continues to morph. Intimate and personal experiences are replaced with quick introductions, snap chats, tweets, and conversations with automated prompts, hindering our ability to build meaningful relationships with others and promoting a lack of compassion and tolerance. My works entice the viewer to look a bit longer and consider who my subjects are, providing viewers the opportunity to experience another perspective. The people in my paintings are close to actual size, putting the viewer on the same field, face to face with a person they may not want to look at, acknowledge, or know. I strive to push the viewer outside their comfort zone and consider people who think, live, and look differently.
I incorporate patterns and designs in the clothing and backgrounds to add to the emotional and psychological aspect of the work and help tell the story. Upon first glance, the works may appear playful, funny, strange or startling. When you revisit the work, you experience a different message.
"Whether I'm painting or not, I have this overwelming interest in humanity. Even if I'm not working, I'm still analyzing people." - Alice Neel
"The figure is still the only thing I have faith in in terms of how much emotion it's charged with and how much subject matter is there." - Jim Dine