Artist Statement for "Nonesuch"
Making art has always been a release for me. I've always made art. It's just what I did, what I do. I never set out to produce pieces with a specific subject or moral/social/political message. When making art in the beginning I don't think there's much of a thought process. I enjoy the feel of the pen or paintbrush in my hand, cutting up images, playing with the materials and textures, spending hours working on one piece. Upon reflection, I know subconsciously when I'm making my artwork there's more going on than me simply cutting up images and sticking them onto paper. I see patterns in my work. I see that they are visceral and raw and can be perceived as political, socially aggressive, whatever, but I never like to think about it too much, and I don't want to put a label on something when I'm not sure myself what it means - if it means anything at all. If I had to derive meaning from my work I would suggest that I am a product of the world around me. What I create is a symptom of my own experiences growing up and now. My world is my childhood, my parents, Florida, Granada, Long Island... My tiny basement studio. I'm inspired by New York: its crudeness, its aggression, its seemingly unbreakable veneer. I like the abandoned parts, the old factories,the train tracks, the forgotten areas, the uncared for places - hell, the uncared for people. I've always had a fascination with photographs. I like to collect strangers' old photo albums. Sometimes I would find them in the trash, and just thought I should keep them. Other times in junk stores I would find a family portrait and felt I, someone, should have this, do something with this. I suppose its a voyeuristic interest. It's like peeking into someones personal world. My other love is the advertisements from old magazines. The picture-perfect wife, the gleaming children, the delicious food, the sophisticated liquors, the artsy cigarettes... Basically we are being sold the American dream. When looking through modern images the message is the same. We are still being sold this idea of perfection. This is how you should look, dress, eat. This is happiness, and this is the ideal America. This is what we are all striving for. This is making us unhappy, and I reject theses ideals, these pressures. I take this imagery and I re-imagine it. I take the image out of context, I create a new meaning. The images are no longer perfect. You can take whatever you want from it in the end, but at least it is real.