My artistic work comes from my commitment to communicating harmonies and disharmonies, by painting and drawing expressive and symbolic pictorial narratives. I draw from my memory and borrow my immediate physical and emotional surroundings, searching for relevant experiences to portray adversity and co-existence, as I have lived through them. I intend to create a recognizable place, form or dynamic that asks the viewer, where have I seen this before? Why does it move me?
Three years ago I began a series influenced by the death of my mother, and the intensity of my father’s will to survive without her. I think about this subject, grief and survival, as a painter: How can I render visual dichotomies as necessary companions?
With mark-making, representation, and patterning, I address polarities: motion and rest; stillness and animation; agitation and meditation, and the voids in between. I paint with redaction, curious about what is missing, using incomplete visual phrases, and imagery that poses more questions than answers. I use Tension - palpable and on the surface; Repetition - routine patterns of stasis; Organization - order from randomness; Compulsion - acting toward order with redundancy.
For two summers in the peak of the pandemic, my studio was in a gardener’s house in a cemetery in Neukölln, surrounded by monikers of death in contrast to an abundance of lively passersby. This was a constant reminder of the state of life amidst so much death, in an era of loss.
My father’s grief, and mine, has been an incredible window into intensely perceptible human expression, that I wish to make seen and re-presented as a humble and shared human condition.
In previous years, my work has been informed by a collaboration with scientist, gardener, and landscape architect, Dorothea Hokema, on the “nature of the city.” Sites found primarily in New York and Berlin, from railroad parks to city beaches, were photographed and imported to the studio for reduction and re-construction. By embracing the missing meadows, one gains an endless tableau of in-between spaces and irregular voids. These readymades inform a geometric abstraction and a new way to draw and paint portraits of a city and culture in constant makeover. Arcadia arrives unpopulated, minimalist, modern and flat, with a non-organic palette covering canals, elevated trains, plastic sheeting, and basins. Subverting the historical genre of landscape painting, the pictorial is now about entropy, re-ordering, and irony within a theatre of color. This represents my cultural critique and another context for making art.