visual artist

Mental Fortress, acrylic on canvas, 30" x 40" | 2022

I create paintings to envision the next world. The landscapes and life of the next world. A reason to stick around and form the next world. I use painting as a tool to help me to reconcile feeling too strange for this world, yet still loving my existence. I’m part of a rich lineage of queer artists that use their hands and minds to forge a space for strange dualities: kindness and treachery; opulence and desiccation; kinship and solitude. 

I see my studio practice as a fortress. From that mental fortress, I paint to mull over the memory of  being strange and my curiosity about normality. In their essence, my paintings are an investigation of mark-making and color as a way to illuminate my internal space. Often painting with a limited palette, I’m interested in creating a fervent conversation between opposing hues. Using a slurry of translucent acrylic and paper fiber layers, I create biological and mechanical beings that resist easy classification. In some works, I use scraping and sanding as key strategies to damage that which is solid, and imperfectly reveal the interior of the painting. In other compositions, I begin by painting from a still-life of plant parts, which I transform into creatures that inhabit my invented spaces.  I seek to create spaces that are self-contained biomes, but also part of a  life-long world-building project.  As if the paintings themselves were alive, I think of them as kin that converse, quarrel and require tending.  I’m fascinated how a painting can exist as a static image, but upon examination also take the viewer through time as one peers into the layered and distinct brushstrokes. 

We invent worlds and beings as a way to hold our own realities at arm’s length; to get out of the thickness of feeling and soar above life with the clarity of a narrator. My painting practice allows me to hover — just a bit.