My art has always been a journey inward, an effort to understand myself, and to share this process of understanding with the outside world. Bodies, symbols, suns, moons, wild nature, and the whirling chaos of creation form a vocabulary, a system of archetypes that work to draw the viewer deeper into the primal need for meaning and connection in a world that increasingly devalues such explorations as impractical at best, or suspect at worst. I create art that demands time and attention, that through the sheer force of its creation draws the viewer ever-deeper into a numinous reality which spirals through both existential despair and an egoless ecstasy.
My work manifests in two ongoing threads that feed off of and comment on each-other. My oil paintings are grand statements, large-scale Jungian sweeps that utilize traditionally expressionist models of creation, line, and color, to, as Austrian painter and composer Arnold Schoenberg put it, “express what is essential.” The oil pastel figure studies that make up the second thread is a running dialog and companion to the paintings that keeps me grounded in the empathy of human experience. Both the paintings and the studies use forceful, bright colors, with thick black outlines, eschewing the idea of creating illusions of the natural world; they are what they are, creations from my mind and hand.
For over twenty years the expressionist movement, and the visual artists who sprang from it, or inspired its development, has operated as my true north. I navigate thanks to the pioneers who came before me: Egon Schiele, Edvard Munch, Oskar Kokoschka, Max Beckmann, and many more. The historian Lionel Richard wrote that expressionism “was inseparable from a feeling of crisis,” and I believe that this is still true, and that as a new crisis of acultural anti-intellectual violence rises to confront us, a new expressionism will help provide the language to confront it.
The past ten years of my practice has been one of renewal and rededication. After my last solo show in 2002, and a few curation projects in the immediate years that followed, I found myself in crisis. The conflicts of being true to my work, making a living, and trying to navigate a seemingly impenetrable commercial art world came to a head, and I decided I needed to strip myself and my practice down to the roots, and re-grow in better soil. Oregon has been a place of healing for me, and for my artistic practice. I refined my techniques, and retrained myself in foundational skills until I felt ready to bring my work to the public once more.