What Do The Words Mean?
Some insight about the words I use in my paintings.
My paintings are created layer by layer in multiple studio sessions. The works generally begin as impulsive drawings of china marker and spray paint loosened with solvents. The early stage drawings are a channeling of emotions of frustration, anxiety, pain, and regret. Following layers applied in splashy bursts and episodic mania, intuitively obscure much of the drawings, leaving only glimpses of the previous layers. In this way the artist acts as creator/destroyer, curating passed emotions experienced, processed, and overcome.
The works offer viewers a window into the artist’s journey from a place of angst to the realization of connectedness to joy and truth through mark making. Like life, the works are often dualistic, and present bitter and sweet in a single view, allowing the viewer to connect on the level of their own resonance.
Sometimes I feel compelled to write words on my paintings. In most cases the words come in an impulse as part of the unconscious flow that I attempt to initiate in each session. Sometimes I’ll write a word in oil stick or paint it and then it doesn’t feel right so I’ll rub and erase it out partly or totally. Usually the word has some type of alliteration that for some unrealized reason seems to connect for me. Other times the words are specifically chosen as the main aspect of the painting. It’s important to me that the words are seen primarily as a visual component of the painting and the meaning of the word is secondary but in support of the concept behind the painting.
It is usually the case that I don’t really know what the painting is about until after the work is finished and then all of its secret meanings begin to whisper or in some cases scream.
Sticks and Stones 2021
This work makes reference to bullying specifically toward LGBTQ culture.
Grandma’s Cure 2021
This painting captures the memory of my grandmother telling me about seeing these word written in flames while she was dreaming and telling me at 8 years old that they must be the cure for cancer and that I will need to do something with this information…
Float Like A Butterfly, Sting Like A Bee. 2022
This painting is a subtle reference to President Volodymyr Zelensky and his incredible transition from being a comedic actor to leading Ukrain as a hero against invading Russia.