Artist’s Statement

Mechant Loup, oil on panel, 17″ X 18″, 2018

 

Painting does no work. Painting will right no wrongs, save no species, reveal no universal truth – no matter how much we might wish it would. It will not lead us to a better world. Painting is older than all of that and has other concerns. 

But it still might look good over the couch.

I paint from my experience of the world. That is to say, I paint from the random chaotic collisions of experience, memory, association, and imagination which make up our internal lives.  Painting itself doesn’t do much to clarify anything, but it lets me have fun with the wreckage.

I have always been particularly 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, yet remain stubbornly ambiguous. 

In my experience there is no such thing as ‘evolution’ or ‘progression’. I’ve been circling the same preoccupations from the very first picture I ever made. Approaching a motif with a new style or different media is like choosing to construct a doghouse with either a hammer or a saw – one is forced to make different choices – but you’re still making a doghouse. I am not interested in pictorial or formal strategies as ends in themselves. I am only interested in what I can do with them.

For me a picture works when it suddenly becomes more than the sum of its parts, when it becomes a mystery even to me. That’s what I work for.

Thanks for looking.

“You see, I look at my paintings, speculate about them. They baffle me, too. That’s all I’m painting for.” – Philip Guston