Growing up in Southern California, I was steeped in a culture that was constantly reinventing itself. It is a rarity in that sprawling windswept facade known as the greater Los Angeles area to find something that is truly a relic of past tradition because just when you think you've stumbled upon an ancient castle in the hills or a pirate's hideaway amongst the caves it turns out to only be a recreation of some millionaire or filmmaker's vision of a distant time and place. I too had a vision of a distant time and place that has played out in my artwork ever since I was a child. This was a place where two hundred year-old bricks still supported the walls of the churches and pirate caves had not been filled in with cement- a place where the speed of industry had not squelched tradition - where plants, animals, and spirits had not been forcibly evicted from their earthly dwellings by condos and supermarkets.
I had convinced myself that making art that feels genuine meant immersing myself in a place that held onto authenticity so I headed south to a town with an enchanting name that flooded my imagination with haunting images, a nostalgia for a past that I had never experienced and centuries old architecture designed not to satiate someone’s fantasy but built specifically to endure a heavy miasma created by rich culture and excessive plant- life. I knew the place I had been trying to paint was New Orleans and there I ended up.
Then something unanticipated happened that has recently come to define my paintings- I began working on local motion picture productions building sets and designing costumes. I had come across the country in search of something natural only to become fascinated with creating unnatural environments. Upon acceptance of this I realized that this dynamic between the fabricated and the natural has always played a role in my paintings and now I deliberately explore this subject by collaging the fluidity of human form with obscure situations, objects that contrast the environment and costumes that seem to play against the figures. In a sense I compose my art pieces as if I am the director of an absurd display of theatrics and the characters are not me, but I live through them in a world that could never be.
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