We are used to living in tension. We have much to question, maybe now more than ever. As I paint to construct images, I find ripples of these tensions and questions, and the feelings that result, constantly reminding me that they are not going anywhere. They express themselves in subtle, but clearly perceptible ways. Usually it’s a stark contrast of some kind, or an odd compositional element that creates ambiguity. These things just seem visually interesting at the time when they happen, but gradually they connect with an unrelated thought or feeling. Then in some oblique way they begin to animate it.
When I start a new piece, I’m focused on its form. I’m thinking of a basic design, or a group of colors, or maybe some leftover paint I can make a mess with in the hopes of then coaxing a structure from it. For many years I focused extensively on the human figure. I will always be an expressionist of some kind, so limbs and faces were always useful to support a mood. Now approach feels too specific. Using a basic visual language without objects opens up the range of possibilities for what the image could be saying, both to myself and those who view it.
I want to make art that confronts. If it doesn’t grab my brain or my heart in some way, either through sheer intensity or something resembling grace I don’t have much use for it. If I’m listening to a song, ideally it would pummel my senses, or choke me up with some sense of beauty; or even better, some confounding combination of the two. So that is how I paint. And the tensions and questions that build in my day to day find their form. Maybe they look something like yours.
I was born in Germany in 1980. When I was 8 years old, my family moved to the Philippines and I spent the rest of my childhood years in Southeast Asia, including Cambodia and Malaysia. My love for art began at an early age, I have been drawing literally for as long as I can remember. Nearly everything that excited me became an inspiration for a drawing. In high school I began exploring the more expressive and abstract qualities of painting. I graduated in 1999 and moved to Oklahoma in 2000 to study fine art and education. I was married to my wife Laura in 2002 and graduated with my Bachelor in Fine Art Education in 2005. I taught high school art for twelve years in Oklahoma City. I now live in Albany, New York with Laura and our three kids, Ava, Elijah, and Vera. I held my first solo exhibit at IAO gallery in downtown Oklahoma City in 2006, and continue to regularly show my work.