The basis for my art is a belief that duality exists in everything. I am aware of the presence of opposing forces in the world around me, such as intellect and intuition, male and female, stillness and movement, body and soul, light and dark, the organized and chaotic, and of course, life and death. My artwork aims to bring the duality of contrasting energy forces into balance. My desire is to present opposite sides of any truth in order to see the real picture. In addition to the philosophical concerns in my work, natural elements emerge that are symbols for my own growth.
I am deeply connected to historical art methods. My love of painting owes a debt to the Abstract Expressionists, particularly Joan Mitchell, Arshile Gorky and Robert Motherwell for their expressive forms, as well as the California artists, such as Nathan Olivera and Jay DeFeo. All, for their attempts to externalize the internal. At the same time, I am drawn to the world of technology and the mechanics of the external world. Once again, duality feeds my creativity.
They Series: They or Crucifixions, Maybe of Women
My art is based on a belief that duality exists in everything. Opposing forces that exist in nature, as well as in the mind, intrigue me. I am fascinated with connections and contrasts between body and soul, intellect and intuition, male and female, stillness and movement, organized and chaotic, mundane and exotic, the pause before a burst of storm, light and shadow, and of course, life and death. My aim is to bring the duality of contrasting energy forces into balance. My desire is to present opposite sides of any truth in order to see the real picture.
“They Series” is based on a figurative form, and references the Crucifixion as a metaphor for duality – human vs. deity or body vs. soul. Specifically, the feet are nailed or tied together but can also be seen as feminine pointy toes. All, with a crown of thorns, of sorts, on his/her head.
I think of the painting as the “body”. And, it’s in paint that it’s natural for shapes of leaves, flowers and branches/trees to hatch out in the process, perhaps bringing regenerative and life affirming or feminine to mind.
Entanglements: Spooky Action at a Distance
My artwork has always embodied a philosophical idea that opposing forces are in everything. That duality exists in all things. Although I am a painter, my graduate level training was in ceramic sculpture, so combining the 2D and 3D is natural for me. And, combining the illusion of space in a painting with the actual space of sculptural parts fit my need to put things that are opposites - in this case the illusion vs the real - side by side.
I titled this series to offer up Einstein’s concept called, “Spooky Action at a Distance” - which has to do with the instantaneous interaction of objects that are separated in space. For me, a metaphor for duality.
In this series, I engage the concept of duality by creating diptychs and triptychs that juxtapose panels that are digitally created with panels that are traditional oil paintings. The Venus shape on the computer-generated panel is digitally textured with my scanned paintings. These electronically created panels are a more intellectual process that I contrast with an intuitive mark-making energy on the oil-painted panels.
While painting the Venus Series, it felt like a natural evolution to consider 3D printing the digitally created shape. As the Venus came alive through this process, I revisited my sculptural roots by juxtaposing this new technique with traditional welded steel.
In this series, I have constructed a recessed panel that divides the painting space in half, alluding to architectural space, and to the crucifixion with the painted angles at the top as widely spread arms. The arms are a metaphor for the duality of human versus the divine. I sometimes think of the movement in the side panels as aspects of a loincloth gone wild.
The title of this series also makes reference to the gray matter of our brains, the middle-ground area between the right and left sides in which opposing functions, such as creativity and analysis, are performed. And, finally, the color gray is especially important to painters, it’s made by combining opposites on the color wheel. Again, a unifying aspect.
This mixed-media series combines computer-generated prints with oils on a single panel. The computer work requires linear thinking while the handwork is more intuitive.
Duality is also an aspect of being a witness. We are all witnesses all the time. Of atrocity and injustice. Our brain has the ability to both remember and forget, creating a balancing act. I call this the tangled web of seeing.