Sensation February 2010
My current work is a series of large-scale oil paintings of greatly magnified, highly detailed topographical descriptions of my hands and mouth. Teeth rip into a ripe cherry, an iridescent beetle nestles into the pulpy terrain of my palm. The vantage point ranges from close to extreme close-up, culminating in a focal point narrow enough to exclude all contextual information. Like a view of the earth from an airplane or a geological survey, these otherwise familiar things become bizarre through a fun-house distortion of scale and perspective.
Tracing hairline cracks in my teeth or the striations of my palm, my objective is to comprehend and depict the actual substance of sensation, the turbulence of physical existence. In a word: existentialism. But not in a lofty philosophical sense, rather, literally what it feels like to be alive on a cellular level.
Digital photography and film aesthetics are integral to my vision and to my process. The transient nature of these tableaux, along with the dramatic cropping and extreme perspective give the work a distinctly cinematic flavor; digital photography enables me to pursue a level of detail not visible to my naked eye. Hilariously, I persist in expecting this exercise in scrutiny to lead to simplification and clarity. The reality is more like a set of Russian nesting dolls: further investigation reveals the same or an even greater level of complexity.