Artist Statement

As a human being raised by traditions, I had standards for living and thinking set for me. As an artist, it has been my responsibility to myself to interpret them.

Much like my upbringing, where art work was concerned, I was shown at a young age what was believed to be the correct way of doing things, because these methods were what worked for the people who taught me. Thankfully, I grew out of these habits quickly. I began painting what I felt, rather than what I was told would be pretty, and photographing subjects as a means of documentation and expression, rather than use film as a way to flatter the subject. Art, for me, became a means to a window of honesty.  My need for visual documentation is also shown in my street photography and still life photography.

In 2009, I began a series titled “Kids Are Creepy”. These works were inspired by biographical and autobiographical experiences, and influenced by the works of Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Diane Arbis and Bruce Davidson. As my projects went further, I began to investigate other artists, doing similar work to my own. While there are artists, such as Joshua Hoffine, who use children as their subject to capture similar ideas, I prefer my images to be more cryptic and ambiguous rather than explicit and straight forward, much like the work of Gordana Hajinovic and Denise Grünstein.

I began, simultaneously, to work on large scale paintings, the largest being 5ft by 6ft, mainly revolving around women who were in recovery from alcoholism and drug abuse, and using images of them to show the “before” and the “after”. While maintaining some of the color pallets of painters I had studied as a child, mainly Henri De ToulouseLautrec and Vincent van Gogh , I began to employ the methods of more modern painters such as Alex Katz, Martin Maloney and most recently, Heather Joy Morgan and Dana Ellyn. I have also used a lot of methods learned from studying traditional tattoo artists, such as Norman Keith Collins and Lyle Tuttle.

Because my work is based on the intangible part of a person, working with two mediums, and in some cases, using one to inspire the other, allows me to better interpret my ideas into my work. As my subjects evolve, so does my work, as well as the means to create it.  – 2013

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