I like to think my work has a great many things to say about identity, that is: how we present our physical identity, our experience of self inside these physical avatars, and how we try to understand/translate these manifestations of self and others. How could it not? Are these themes not always prescent with portraiture? But, at least for now, this is not my focus. I feel more and more I am just constantly reinterpreting my early themes of the hero.
While, having inadiquate formal knowledge of The Hero ( I haven’t even read “The Hero of a Thousand Faces”, ) I feel like it plays and enormous role in society, society is after all, just a big discussion between the abstracted public selves, right? Keeping that in mind, I am always impressed that a few separate individuals could not only come to represent a set of ideals, but that for all practical purposes are them. And that in the past there are accounts of these conceptions remaining intact while in the physical presence of “the hero.” that in itself speaks volumes about the relativity of our personal perceptions.
Anyway I want to explore that place where a living individual and an allegory can exist together. How does the media present a human being as a symbol of say, sex and/or power. Sex and power are not quite dynamic enough to hold my attention artistically, but something richer that exists in the grey area of our moods. I would like to overhear the discussion between the person I am painting and the ideas they represent in the finished piece. I want to create work that has a certain effect on the viewer, to project specific experience. The likelyhood of ever being successful at this is slim to none, but that is probably a good thing, becuase I hope to be working on this for a while, and I lvoe imposible challenges…
I love the idea that I could oneday manipulate a combination of symbols to give the viewer a sensation of manifestations of great self or of something just greater than themselves. I’m not sure that is something I want to strive for yet. It would require a certain functioning grasp of transidentalism that I was under the impression only came with age and very strong pair of calves. I would be happy if I make a piece that someone could put themselves into, like the metaphor they use with the chalk art in Mary Popins.
I really enjoy multi-layered conceptual work posing as narrative. However, my process is somewhere in between automatic and alchemy, I often feel completely in the dark about what I am doing even though I am quite consciously doing it. This is not uncommon, i have seen but not read lots of books written on that very same experience. I am an atheist and still quite conservative (up tight?) about being in control of my life and self. While I have not entirely reconciled this direct “sensation of Source”, “flow”, and “loosing oneself,” I am happy respect the mind as being far to complex for me to comprehend. I hope to one day direct this agnostic attitude toward myself, and therefore have just a little bit nicer time of things. And when I have sneaking suspicion that my subconscious is have its way with me, I try to redirect my focus onto something it resonates with it as a compromise. Mostly, I prefer not to be to self-referential in my paintings. But I am coming to see that on some levels, working as i do now, that is a preposterous desire.