Thursday, October 10, 2013

Flesh, Bone and Full of Nasty

Just so you understand that background of how I got here- this particular stop on the artistic highway- you should know that it sort of happened by accident, and on its own. Back in grad school, I worked on a series called “Predators (2011)”, which was an expression of my personal demons. It was all about the little things in our subconscious that nip, and bite, and annoy us until we submit to the internal nagging and avoid the gut instincts that can make human beings so interesting and beautiful. During this time I created works like Bite Box- an effort to turn the surface into the creature, rather than painting a picture of one.

Bite Box, 2011
In 2012 Art Station’s Beth Fiore offered me a solo show in Brooklyn to show works from “Predators (2011)”, “How to Kill Your Imaginary Friends (2012)”, and “Everyone Loves a Martyr (2012)”. Digging up the work from “Predators” allowed me to revisit my experiment with a fresh pair of eyes. I began to once again experiment with the black and grey washes, the thickly painted white incisor-style teeth, and the beautiful found surfaces unearthed from the gutters, garbage piles, and forgotten yards that New York City had to offer. I realized very quickly, though, that this was turning into something else. This was something a little bit more raw, and a little bit less “conceptual”. Before I knew it, the washes went from defining the creatures to becoming the creatures. In fact, they weren’t quite creatures at all- they were more ghosts than anything. They were these “apparitions”- not the Scooby-doo, sheet wearing ghosts we all know and love; that thing that gives us a cold chill on a hot day. The teeth are no longer a symbol of comedic aggression, or the “bite”, or nerves, or even chattering. They are simply all that’s left of a thing that we weren’t even sure was there in the first place.

Apparition, 2012

Forget What I Used to Be, 2013

Get The Door, 2013

Hello, My Name Is... , 2013
Walk-Off, 2013

After a while, the ghosts’ efforts become meaningless. Retracing steps draws a circle with footprints. The steam that was a body struggles to dissipate, and every time the moisture is pulled back down into the proverbial glass, the water level becomes less every time. Sure- experience generates change. Every time there are actions, there are reactions. That said, the building blocks, the underpainting, the foundation—it all stays the same. It is at this point of realization and awareness that there needs to be some kind of explosion; something that allows us to tear down the sketches from the wall and say: “next project”. When this happens, the end gets to feel more like the beginning. Purgatory is in the rear-view mirror, and excitement for new discovery is back. What once was barely tangible, is now stepping heavily on the creaky floorboards, and bumping into walls. It is the realization that a bullet through an apple doesn’t destroy the fruit- it makes applesauce.

Stumbling Face First, 2013

Collision, 2013

 For more of these works, visit my website or my Facebook fan page.