My recent body of work re-imagines mythological scenes in a contemporary context. The goal being to connect modernity to deeper cultural narratives, or put simply to continue these myths in my own small way. In painting this means a resurrection of traditional techniques, in combination with contemporary posing and clothing in the staging of the scene. The traditional techniques act as a reservoir of knowledge, connecting painting to its history, while the changing modern conventions articulate the moment. In painting, I reject the premise that there is some irreconcilable antagonism between the past and present, in this I was influenced by Symbolist, Pre-Raphaelite, and Celtic revival painters. The series, though sometimes humorous, reflects a sincere love of painting, history, and mythology, and a desire to continue this in the styling of my time, while not completely cut off from or devoid of reverence for the past. That being said, a good myth contains not only wonder but horror. Wisdom gained is lost, love given is betrayed, and gods not properly honored become vengeful.
The Art of Arts 2019-2021
My work is shifted completely after several years teaching art history. In trying to be the best for my students, I realized that in art school I had received technical training that was lacking and and a reductive version of art history. So I set out to reteach myself how to paint. The subjects are either myself or close friends. This makes me consider the meaning of the subject more than if I painting cartoon-y figures or anonymous people. To create these paintings I have begun to use historical techniques drawn largely from the manual of Cennino Cennini. In the most recent paintings this means the processing of my own natural pigments found in the earth. I have done this to truly understand my medium, rather than take it for granted and abuse its materials. It has also, I believe, helped me understand the artistic decisions of prior generations. Overall, I have found it takes time to make a meaningful and technically sound painting, so there are only a few in this most recent collection.
SPORTS GAMES & ART GAMES 2014-2018
Paintings are bizarre spaces that work as both windows and objects, generating references and experiences. You cannot eat paintings and they aren’t fiscally responsible, but they embody the quirks of human psychology, including both the brilliance and ridiculousness of abstract thought. How many games of tic-tac-toe can be played? How many paintings can be made? It’s just semantics . . . and syntax. A lot comes out of nothing.