Many years ago I was a film student. Silly as it now seems, what I wanted was to make horror films. Growing up I loved the horror films of the thirties and forties made by Universal Pictures and as a young filmmaker I wanted to capture and build on their visual style and knack for running imaginatively amuck. Well, a film career never happened for me, although aspects of those movies found their way into my drawings and paintings. I certainly don't produce Draculas and Frankensteins anymore, although I can say with confidence that something of the spirit of those films has remained as a permanent theme in my work: That sense they had that the world is a mysteriously perilous, but also mysteriously appealing, place, something to be approached with both wonder and caution. I'm not referring to the simple polarities of good and evil, which I don't believe in anyway, but to ambiguousness, to the danger that exists in the most innocuous-looking things, to how we can't distinguish what's safe from what's dangerous merely by sight, and often not even as the result of experience. Your beloved pet can still bite you badly. Your mushrooms can still poison you. Your cute mole can turn out to be dangerous as hell. Some of my paintings, I admit, are pretty. But that doesn't mean they're sweet. They should cause you to ask, "If that shape in the painting there were real, would I touch it?"
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