The instability of your art is what attracted me. In our unstable world where technology seems to be taking over the little humanity that is left, I find your creations relatable. What message are you trying to communicate through your work?
My work is foremost about the destabilization of the contemporary subject in an increasingly controlled society, and often I use the digital realm and/or an optical jarring environment to place them in. I also show that our sense of agency, that is “free will”, is something of an illusion. I want my subjects to act as “weak operators” in an increasingly alien world.
It’s almost an ontological build up from scratch, building a new idea of who we are. So from that vantage point, I paint the current status or crisis of humanity today, and in doing so I am participating in an age old practice in paint. The digital is just a new context or environment to be studied. I feel as though I am carrying on a dialogue of paint and humanity that have existed since the dawning of paint itself.
Your subject matter is predominantly women. Why do you choose women to represent your creativity and what inspires you to create?
In the beginning, I used only random subjects found on the web, and they weren’t all female. In fact, I wanted to cleave in between the binary of gender so I had used an androgynous subject. Many of my ideas have to do with the liminality of our condition, of our definition of who we are. Now I use anything that sparks an interest in me. For instance, in one series of works, I wanted a genuflecting subject looking to the skies to God. Based off of the Renaissance paintings of Mary looking upwards, and El Greco did many of these types of paintings also. I wanted to introduce a redemptive quality to the paintings, asking if science is the new religion, if so what are we looking upwards towards? Is there a different kind of redemption/salvation today?
Your unique style makes you stand apart from other artists. Each piece you create seems quite complex. What mediums do you use and what is your typical creative process.
I use oil paint mostly, and occasionally acrylic for backgrounds or Op Art style patterns. I start with a subject and then manipulate the image in Photoshop, using it as a digital sketchbook you could say. Then it’s all about the studio and what happens in it.
You formally studied art as a career. Can you tell me a little about your creative journey?
I went to undergrad to play football, but the art classes went into practice, so I had to make a decision. I quit football and graduated in art and philosophy, then moved to a nascent Santa Ana art colony. I worked on my craft for several years, but then I was stabbed by some street toughs. I made a decision to go to Graduate school at Claremont, after which I had my first solo show at the infamous ACE Gallery. I now show with Unix Gallery NYC/Miami/Houston.
What artists inspire you? Have you ever collaborated with any artists?
My inspirations are first and foremost from Leonardo, his muscle tissue work and cadaver inspections are something that changed my life. My serious ideas all came from comic books though. From there the irreverent pictures of Rembrandt and the ultra-baroque style of Bernini to the awkward stylings of Piccabia… to the obvious big boys of Picasso, Bacon and more recently Glen Brown, Gehard Richter, Adrian Ghenie, Daniel Richter, Albert Ohlen, and Sigmar Polke,
What’s next for you? Do you have any upcoming projects or shows you are looking forward to?
I have a couple solo museum shows early this year. One at the University of Arizona Museum and the other at Pomona.