Article Title

Bar Rat


My main influences are usually the people who surround me, and the experiences that I face because of those people. Working as a bartender has directly impacted my art. Faces, expressions, emotions and behaviors intrigue me. Bartending allows me to be a participant in and observer of many unique human interactions and social codes that I use as material for my work. I often photograph the people I interact with, especially while bartending, to use as source material.

For a while I was focusing on extreme emotions such as grief, but I have become more interested in the nuances of people’s underlying feelings and behaviors. An example of this is a moment of introspection that flashes across a man’s face, or a hand gesture that a woman makes when telling a funny story. These instantaneous seconds of unguarded display are difficult to capture on camera and they are so ubiquitous that we rarely recognize them while they are happening. For me, work is most satisfying and deliberate when I am driven by specific psychological content, and the images I collect at the bar have been propelling me in this direction.

I have been working mainly with oil paints for the last few years, but more recently I have been experimenting with other media including ink, gesso, pastels, acrylics, and collaged paper. Working with the materials I have on hand to create a compelling composition is a challenge I relish. I feel as though I am solving a problem when I use the tools I have nearby to make an interesting piece. There is an unfinished quality that flows through all of my pieces, regardless of how carefully considered they are. I am attracted to the rawness that is created by this unadorned formal practice. In my work, I cultivate a compositional playfulness and spirited mark-making.