I paint from my experience of the world. That is to say, I paint from the multi-vehicle collision of experience, memory, association, and imagination which is how we process our lives. Painting itself doesn’t do much to clarify anything, but it lets me have fun with the wreckage.
I have always been fascinated by iconic images, symbols, Tarot and Loteria cards, cave paintings, illustrations from children’s encyclopedias, rebuses and pictographs, pictorial elements that ‘read’ at a glance, punch above their weight and yet remain ambiguous. They are my shorthand.
What does a pictograph of a knife ‘mean’? It might mean one thing to a carver, something else to a cook, something very different to a victim of violence. What is a ladder? What’s with the dog? Images like this insist that they ‘mean’ something , and they do – but not the same thing to all of us.
For me a picture works when it becomes more than the sum of its parts, when it suddenly gels and becomes a mystery to me. That’s what I work for. I work to make pictures that are compelling but ultimately unresolvable. That’s the best reflection of life I can make.
‘You see, I look at my paintings, speculate about them. They baffle me, too. That’s all I’m painting for.” – Philip Guston