Some years ago, I began to produce paintings that expressed my best and worst impulses set out in the context of public spaces. It was time to give my inner devil an airing. Making virtue of vice, I imbued anonymous figures with swaggering power, elevated faceless nobodies to subject status and filled the streets with stalking female mastodons, all in the service of getting even.
Well, adversity loves company and, living in New York, I found myself in the perfect place to observe the tribulations of others while forgetting about my own. So many nuisances at a stone’s throw.
Those paintings were dark, crowded and monochromatic. As I became more and more absorbed in the project, I found an unexpected conflict beginning to emerge. As I fell more deeply in love with the act of painting, my work became more resonant. My brushwork, palette, depiction of light and air……the paintings were becoming more, well beautiful. Today I see the disconnect between some of my subject matter and my method of depiction as a source of strength…and subversion. It’s a willful act of seducing the viewer into staying with me in the picture.
My work explores the ever-modulating space between aspiration and reality. Its an uncomfortable space for some, that sense of not quite being where or what you think you are – a mental state filled with frisson not unlike the combustible edge of colliding urban neighborhoods, its corporeal equivalent. After depicting just such city spaces for many years, I grew to realize that the concept of an Edge - or more precisely the gap between them - was as much a state of mind as a physical reality and therefore eminently transportable. And so you see before you paintings embracing a variety of settings reflecting my everyday life, my travels grand and mundane, realized and imaginary.
Many of these paintings may look like directly observed events, but they’re not. I make liberal use of the infrastructure of the world around me and, using a variety of sources including memory, produce paintings that are entirely studio inventions. My paintings reflect the insights and doubts many of us share but often can’t find the language to express. I’m luckier than most because over time I’ve developed the voice to articulate these ideas. In fact, I’d say that my paintings are all about the small idea. If my work is successful, if it has significance, then each painting represents a building block which, when seen over the life of a career, serves a greater purpose, a larger idea that is expressed in the fullness of time.