In fragmenting the human figure, I hope to express loss of control or the inability to know one’s future. On a daily basis, I am bombarded with this anxiety-ridden dilemma. In my work, this struggle manifests itself in the figures’ expressions and poses. The seamless integration of figures into the background can be seen as their successful ability to merge with their changing environment; in other words, a positive adaptation of self.
At other times, the figure-background dichotomy represents the struggle to adapt to change and maintain a constantly evolving, healthy self. In some works, the figures are rooted in their environments, and in others they are more detached. The loss of the figure’s foundation represents his or her inability to adapt to a given situation. Some figures reach out blindly with closed eyes; others are upside-down, lost in vertigo. The different situations the figures are placed in abstractly represent their issues: the cards they are given and how they choose to play them.
The paintings shown here are executed on Homasote board rather than traditional canvas. The board supports mark-making techniques such as scraping, incising and stabbing which the canvas cannot; the surface records my approach to painting, by turns aggressive and delicate. I use rigid fragmentation of space and perspective as well as inverted figures to express the internal conflict that arises from making everyday decisions. This conflict, an argument with oneself, is represented through the multiple depictions of a single individual.
There is a sense of irony to my work. Even as the figures strive for answers, I believe people try too hard to seek them. I think it is more important to focus on questions and to wrestle with them. This is analogous to the process of making a painting; I want my work to contain a spirit of questioning as well as the struggle to find answers.
Art Journal: Vol. 2013
, Article 10.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.providence.edu/art_journal/vol2013/iss1/10