My most recent work involves the development of a personal cosmology revolving around the intersection of life, death, and the presence of a complicated, and often obscured, explanation for our existence. I depict the human experience in mystical, but secular, images fraught with symbols and hidden meanings much as religious iconography seeks to make the unknowable accessible through familiar objects and gestures. By focusing on life and death, two ubiquitous human experiences, I hope to provide viewers with a starting point from which to begin exploring my paintings.
I particularly like to touch on the experience of aging and the inevitable march toward death, as so often featured in the traditional Danse Macabre (Dance of Death). I don’t view this journey as negative, but as a truth from which moments of great clarity are occasionally gleaned as the human spirit triumphs, however temporarily, over loss, suffering, and pain. Often, I portray the “meaning of life” (which I tend to think of as the “divine voice,” though in a strictly esoteric sense) as inexplicable tangles of machinery, mechanisms constructed for specific functions yet impossible for us to comprehend. Another common motif in my work, also representing the divine voice, is that of the decapitated head emitting phantasmagorical fluid, or The Frothing Head. The Frothing Head is the embodiment of the Great Mystery, a being incapable of vocalizing its own joys and miseries.
Though I am not a landscape painter, I prefer my characters to appear outdoors, where moments of epiphany take on a more cosmic scale under skies full of shifting clouds. My scenes are usually dense arrays of objects arranged in mobile-like configurations, so that no space is wasted and all elements are balanced. This, for me, is a way of organizing the complexity of our world into narratives that make sense, much as words are strung together to form coherent sentences.