Gouache water color and colored pencil collage on acid-free fine art paper. Framed size is 24x30 inches (24 x 18 inches unframed).
Push, Pull, Exile (2018) is one of 3-4 core pieces in this series: the themes of human connection, dependence and the desire for both meaningful, satisfying relationships and freedom from tethering to social mores that are central to the series are rendered here more directly than in many of the other pieces. There is also the sense here, I think, of relationship as both work and reward. There's something factory-like about the dark shapes in the background on the far left; a peaceful, mild delight at the far right of the image.
In my FIRST-PERSON PLURAL series I explore the idea that the self is relational and plural as well as fluid and mercurial. I like the idea that people are both individual and multiple, that differences in context bring forth variations of self and that these changes happen across time. Gouache (on paper) is a favorable medium for depicting change because it can be worked over and over again, heaps of solid opacity blocking out what was underneath it, or more transparent washes with less pigment inviting glimpses into the under layers. The cutting out and collaging of painted paper to reposition figures or painting over areas of oil painting speaks to my sense of life as revision, this process that happens in time and which never ends, but which still images can seem to “fix.” These paintings struggle against this sense of fixity, such that arguably beautiful passages are sometimes sacrificed in favor of painting over them or scratching them out. If painting is a kind of conversation wherein physical gestures merge ideas with materials, I’m interested here in keeping the conversation going, with how to render “ongoing-ness” in a way that isn’t just a mess. But the process involves risking messiness because the paintings typically only feel “right” or finished when they’ve been worked up to a great extent first. When they work, some leap of faith into further conversation (more painting, more cutting, more pasting, more doing) eventually yields a new order I couldn’t have planned or known.