The Cathedral Suite
The desire to better myself is never ending. I draw a connection to the constant reconstruction of cathedrals, to my endless cycle of hope to one day become perfect. Gothic cathedrals depict the lasting divine glory of God. However, their perpetual endurance comes with the cost of ever present scaffolding, shrouding their body. I’m drawn to the juxtaposition of the temporal, makeshift frameworks and platforms, bandaging the idealistic facades.
Gothic steeples also act as conduits to heaven from earth, providing a space which I can enter and establish a sacred connection to focus my hope. Through prayer I can filter out “the bad”, actively editing and rebuilding a more perfect version of myself. However, once I leave the sacred space, all the bad comes back; I am flawed and imperfect.
Western spirituality places me between the forces of opposites - absolute divinity and imperfect, conveniently labeling the former as “good” and the latter as “bad”. Cathedrals, like my body, are always in that uncomfortable in-between.
The Theseus Suite
The Theseus Suite is about the desire to reconstruct an ideal version of ourselves through online social networks. I focus on the connection of smart devices and computers to our bodies and how we constantly utilize them as conduits to project edited, ideal versions of ourselves into the virtual word.
Ancient Greek sculptures have eroded through time, becoming “imperfect”, yet the sculptures still retain ideals of beauty. I recognize a parallel between our increasingly passive physical forms and the sculptures; we become anxious as we invest time molding ourselves into the way we wish to be seen through social networks. Furthermore, I cite specific hellenistic sculptures to link theatrical poses to the drama we present on virtual stages.
There is a natural movement in the subject’s physical form through breathing, and their scrolling profiles, implying an equal liveness of both. We are now balancing multiple identities, and I see a tragic intimacy in one’s need to treat their virtual self with as much, if not more attention than their physical selves.
Focusing on the solitude of others heightens the validation that being alone in a social space is okay. I capture others who similarly find themselves alone, conveying in compositions their distance-emotional and physical- from me. Painting fulfills the need to be in public.
Using the iPad as the primary painting medium is a way of working without notice. Everyone packs into cafes, yet few acknowledge the conversation on their neighboring patron's screen. Surveying a crowd of customers, I think “It looks like I'm doing the same thing they are."
Digital paintings are part of the digital conversation within contemporary cafe culture, existing and sharing within the same ethereal space. They are my way of silently conversing with my fellow patrons.
20 Portraits of Proximity
In 20 Portraits of Proximity, all subjects are communicating through smart phones and laptops, with the recipient outside of the frame. I employ tightly cropped heads in the compositions to eliminate the distance between the viewer and the subject. My use of cropping is an attempt to re-create for the viewer the tension I think people feel towards me as I draw them.
When grouped together, the portraits imply a crowd in a singular space, despite the lack of environmental information. While no two portraits speak directly to one another, I maneuver lines across multiple works to imply connection through electronic presence.