About ten years ago I saw Brice Marden’s “Forest Grove” paintings in
New York and they made a deep impression on me. I
shifted from making narrative work to making abstract paintings at
about that time. Robert Ryman’s comment
about the nature of painting in the latter half of the twentieth century stuck with
me, too: “It’s not a question of what to paint, but rather, how to
paint it.” As a result, I started to use atypical tools to obscure the mark
of my hand and to allow the process of painting to inform the final image. The ambiguous stuff of natural
became the stuff I chose to hang the paint on: organic figures made homes for themselves
within atmospheres of plasma, sea water, the vacuum of space, light. And the space that I created was always the most
My paintings are
process works that borrow from sources such as films and photography,
physics and biology textbooks, and electron microscope images.
Three, five, seven, sixteen, even thirty individual images are
combined to form a single larger painting. The bigger picture
reads as a catalog of microscopic spaces, or as an armature for a game
that explores the tensions found in evolutionary processes in Nature.
I am interested in the simple dynamics of random adaptation and
mutation, and my paintings are a function of a studio process that
relies on similar mechanisms as a way to make pictures. I use
squeegees, scrapers, and invented brushes to lay on thin layers of
paint that produce facturelss, skin-like surfaces.
My recent work is
of a lateral format that implies a comparison between the way in which
we look at film and the way in which we view a painting (in fact,
the titles of several of the paintings refer to banal and often
repeated lines in films). The images scan left and right with no
commitment to an up or down; one thinks of the rotoscope and the
flip-book and the movie projector, and the way in which these devices
(ironically, almost) present still images so as to imply Real Time
movement. In contrast, my paintings move more slowly, but they
do move, quietly documenting the invisible creeping of Nature (and
Science and Fiction) at work.