I'm in the process of reconceiving my artist statement. I will update my statement in the near future.
The artworks included for this exhibition can be viewed as implicitly personal, both in the methods with which they were crafted and in the sense of place evoked in the finished works. Each piece is linked to a narrative drawn from life.
The places depicted in these works are fictional; the majority of them are drawn and painted entirely from imagination and in the few instances that necessitated visual reference it was referred to minimally. By freeing myself of the burden of strict realism I attempt to create a more honest expression through the filters of memory and intuition. By removing a specific sense of place from these images I hope to have endowed them with an openness that allows for a more universal understanding.
My landscape works grew out of an artistic practice that has been predominantly abstract. Consequently they are indebted as much to the work of Jackson Pollack and Mark Rothko as they are to Van Gogh or the landscapes of the Song Dynasty. I'm interested in the unique capacity of landscape to form a midpoint between representation and abstraction.
The series of "Monolith" paintings on view illustrates this quality. The Monolith paintings use an economy of means, merely an atmospheric gradation and a faintly implied horizon line, to suggest they are landscape works . The compositions reference both the monochromatic qualities and gradations of Eastern landscape painting and the reductive simplicity of Barnett Newman's "Onement" series. I think of these works being as much the result of a series of constructive actions as I think of them being pictures. The process of binding and dyeing silk, the subtle fades of colored inks and the calligraphic sensitivity of sanded down brushstrokes create a tactile history within the work that informs the final image.
Rather than creating work from a single painting or drawing medium, I prefer to blend media together depending on the intended expression. "Red Wave" was drawn relatively quickly, the blots of deep red enamel paint scraped and twisted with an etching needle. This gave the work a violent, writhing quality, as a reflection of a personal relationship that was falling apart at that time.
In contrast, "Crashing Waves," was drawn primarily using red ball point pen. The saturated monochrome of the piece still provokes the uneasy association of blood red seas. But at the same time it possesses a tranquil quality, the result of the gradual meditative accumulation of thousands of ink markings.
The places that I've depicted are not meant to be passively decorative. For me they are records: times spent in turbulence and times of remission, moments of calm and moments of foreboding. They are the distillation of feeling and memory through the creative process. My landscape work doesn't represent the natural world so much as it represents my struggle to navigate the civilized one.