“ There are all these strata and stories, frictions and unsolved problems – it is just like that; in a sense, they cannot be solved at all – and that is exactly what constitutes a picture.”
-Per Kirkeby, 1997
We are constantly reminded of our world coming apart at the seams. Dwindling resources, global climate-change, looming threats of catastrophic war, natural disasters and deadly epidemics. It could be said that this is nothing new and history has a way of repeating itself. I am always asking myself, “how do I respond to all this as an artist?”
Sublimation, according to Freud, is a specific defense mechanism used in order to channel our pure, instinctual desires and fears into something useful. Possibly art. When I approach making a painting, I seldom have any kind of objective or plan. I choose materials that lend themselves to a kind of alchemy. I find my material at hardware stores and construction sites, in dumpsters behind craftsmen’s studios or the banks of rivers and streams. The materials dictate the process and what precipitates is a conversation about the contemporary landscape as a system, not something to frame or behold. I use disparate elements that merge and collide unpredictably, akin to the original claims of alchemy: the promise of transmuting ordinary metals into gold and the pursuit of empirical transcendence of our corporeal limitations.
The contemporary work that interests me is often temporary, dealing with or creating new space. At a time when everything in our world seems on the precipice of disaster, maybe this is the logical response as artists.
In contrast, my work is a pursuit of something lasting, using the very things that either won’t or haven’t lasted. I am restructuring elements in order that they might find a new dialogue, their own self contained space. I place trust in practiced craft and it is important to me that my work, although abstract, is accessible to the viewers and that it allows for contemplation about their own language and history.