Recent paintings of historical artists such as Eva Hesse and Goya are set against spare and subtly toned backdrops through which remnants of former paintings can be seen. These simultaneous references to what came before illustrate a sense of lineage and appreciation common to my practice. The manner in which I have posed Hesse alludes to Vermeer’s Girl With a Pearl Earring, one such example of the multiple layers of reference and points of access through which my work might be interpreted.
The grotesque, strongly visceral portraits featured in Heroes playfully reflect the artist’s relationship to each of the historically and culturally significant subjects rendered. With subjects spanning from Eva Hesse, Hemingway and Goya to Danny Brown and MF Doom, each painting is inflected with a sense of controlled chaos; intuitive and highly textured brush and palette knife strokes obscuring the level of recognition and iconic legibility within their faces. At once provocative, absurd and deeply reverent, the paintings confound sinister, earnest and playful readings of the work with multiple layers of reference.