Even DNA Has a Face
Art Statement for Open Studios, October 2002
I'm fascinated by what's not there in the world unless you
look at it in a certain way. Fleeting images caused by light,
reflection, and refraction. While a building exists in its
structural concreteness, the reflection of that building in
the windshield of a passing bus is something pulled from our
dreams. The light of a flickering candle brings the colors
out of the surrounding environment when seen through the cut
of a whiskey glass. Water perhaps defines this idea: while
a physical, tangible object, it always moves and changes,
altering what's around it in its surface. These reflections
of verrtical and horizontal lines, while rigid in physical
reality, bend and break all boundaries when looked at this
My paintings, with their immense textures and organic shapes,
hopefully cause a doubletake, maybe a different kind of viewing
from far away and up close. At a distance, the main themes
are all about color and shape -- both of which can be found
in the world if the world is looked at in a certain way. I
don't paint forests but if you look closely, you might be
able to see the pattern of a vein of a leaf within that forest.
Up close, the texture of the paint trumps the shape of the
object, breaking down the painting to a focus on the paint
itself. Folds and waves, craters and peaks -- oil paint is,
by its nature, organic and within its fundamental makeup has
characteristics all its own. I try to combine how I see the
world and how oil paint fundamentally exists.
My mom has been doing needlepoint for some 25 years. She
taught me at a young age but the monotony of it caused me
to lose interest as an energetic kid. As I've gotten older
and developed an artistic style, I noticed that the precision
of needlepoint could work very well with my style. We collaborated
on a few pieces and I then began doing my own. They are very
time-intensive and meditative. And they also encourage viewing
from afar and from up close.
I throw myself into my paintings when I work, choosing usually
to work on the floor rather than on an easel or against a
wall. Since the detail is fairly intense -- and possibly obsessive
(well, definitely obsessive) -- I almost throw myself into
each one. By the time I'm finished, I have paint on my arms,
under my nails, my hands are stained, my face has random streaks,
and, at rare times, I find a cheap way to color my hair.
Lastly, I have always hated the idea that žfine artÓ is
defined by a velvet rope, a hands-off approach, a barrier
between the piece and the audience. I encourage people to
touch my paintings, to play with the puzzles, to close the
distance between themselves and what's in front of them. It's
art, it's colorful, it's fun. Creativity is supposed to be
fun. We always encourage children to explore the world around
them by touching but when we get older, we tend to put value
on that which we're not allowed to touch. I think that's wrong.
There are enough rules for us to follow already. Art isn't
supposed to have any. So touch, explore, play, share, talk
-- enjoy my pieces. I hope they bring some color to your day.
Oh, and I hate white space. Can't stand it. White walls
in apartments, white canvas, blank sides of buildings: such
a waste of a good place to color.