“Everything I see is beautiful.” – Otto Dix
Find beauty within the grotesque and transform the mundane into the fantastic. This is my goal as an artist.
There is exquisiteness and obscenity in every aspect of the world. My work explores this dichotomy and draws attention to it. People are constantly inundated with waves of visual, auditory, and tactile stimulation. Through painting, comics, sculpture, print and video, I synthesize this information, reconstructing narrative and recreating memory.
Through portraiture, I seek to reveal the paradox of identity on a universal level. What motivates people to conceal certain facets of their identity while revealing others? In portraying strangers, friends, imaginary characters, and lovers, I focus on how identity manifests itself through the exterior surface. My exaggerated, gross aesthetic reflects an inner desire to deconstruct superficiality. Like Dix, I emphasize every physical flaw and idiosyncrasy, arriving at portraiture that is hyper-real. Detail is accentuated to the point where it transcends realism. The exterior surface is what I ultimately seek to destroy, exposing hidden vulnerabilities and motives of my subjects. Observation, honesty, and humor are the agents in this destruction.
Words cannot explain why I do exactly what I do. However, I can pinpoint the start of my career as an artist. In kindergarten, I secretly sketched the butts of my classmates during recess. I produced a series of crude, pencil drawings of sideways “3”s with spindly legs jutting out, labeling each butt with the name of who it belonged to. When my teacher noticed my drawing habits, I was sentenced to a time-out. This was the first of many times I was to be punished for my work. Somehow, I still feel a twinge of guilt whenever I draw someone’s portrait.
I cannot help but look.