Indiana University, M.F.A., 1992, Bloomington, IN / Tyler School of Art, B.F.A., 1989 / Temple University, 1987-89, Rome, Italy / Yale University Summer School of Art, Norfolk, CT, 1988 / Art Students League, NYC, 1984
The paintings I make are attempts at translating human themes into metaphoric narratives. My subjects are drawn from life, memory and imagination and are often the offspring of a small domestic moment colliding with a greater, sometimes mythological, drama. The urgency of an idea may lead me directly to an image that I land on, and carve out simply. Slower growing work evolves over time. Each of the more complex paintings is a combination of several themes that accumulate over the relatively long span of their making. Lately, I have embraced the occasions in which my theme coincidentally echoes those addressed over and over throughout the history of art, allowing the connections to range from subtle to overt. While attempting to answer my own questions about the painting, I try to create a sense of visual clarity, a footing of realism, in an attempt to give the viewer a secure platform from which to investigate the narrative as it unfolds for them. The decision to continue to work with oils and, even more traditionally, with the figure in a time when so much interesting interdisciplinary work is being made is simply a reminder of my beginnings. I went to art school during a time when education meant not teaching methods or guiding a student, but letting students find their own way. As a result of this autonomy, I can safely say I came to this genre in an organic and authentic way that has always felt like it found me and not the other way around. Teaching myself the basic skills of my medium makes it feel as if I am re-inventing the wheel rather than continuing a tradition. The directness of painting and the bluntness of using the figure is always terrifyingly raw and challenging. If it ever gets easy, I’ll know it is time to move on.