Artist's Statement

I am a contemporary figurative genre artist. I have great love for the centuries of figurative art history and in the traditional mediums of drawing, painting and printmaking.  It is not the only way to make art but it is how I choose to make my art. Genre painting can be been defined as subject matter that depicts real life. I am currently inspired by real people I have observed. I wish to describe in my art a specific moment in time, but not in an illusionistic or photographic manner.  Real life provides what I feel to be more authentic emotions which through the act of painting create emotionally vivid artworks. The most inspiring interactions of figures, space and light occur out in the world. I seek those real moments and manipulate my observations to create compositions. What I seek is something unique to that moment and incidental. But what I will create is premeditated and organized in series which dictate where I go. I utilize classical and digital techniques to arrive at a final composition which serves as my guide in creating the work.

The moment I end up encapsulating is rarely composed of a single observed or photographed moment. Through my figurative art I hope to communicate specific emotions through unique expressions of those people I observe.  Painting for me is a way in which I can explore fleeting moments in time and stretch out their significance and endow them with meaning. I hope to create for the viewer a world of interest that reflects the interest with which I absorb and observe my world. Just as the world is filled with interest, I aim to create multiple moments of interest in any given work whose qualities and interactions encourage repeated and slow observation.

Figurative art can create a unique intimacy between the viewer and the depicted.  The precise expression I want to make is not of a photorealistic or mechanical sort, but instead of an intuitive quality.  Through the process of intense looking, painting, I form opinions and make relationships between people even if I do not interact with them directly.  It is not perfect, and I do not know if what I am thinking is true. But is a reality which I hope to lay bare and share with others through the tradition of figurative art. I think that condition as an artist is one shared with many people who spend parts of their lives around strangers, observing and reflecting.

My guiding criterion for choosing which scenes to create is how well it expresses the thought I wanted to express through the work. I believe figurative art clearly and emphatically communicates ideas to the viewer. Another criterion is how well the scene allows me to explore space, light and figures to create a complex scene full of lively figures.  Ultimately only the art shows that thing about the scene that grabbed my attention.

My process involves repetitious and preparative draftsmanship juxtaposed with spontaneous and succinct decisions and expression.  My technique is informed by a variety of artistic movements. This way of working speaks to my understanding of memory.  It can be both through repetitive exposure and spontaneous epiphany that memories come to us.  Memories can distort truth and may be inaccurate, but they are fundamentally real and an integral component of the human experience.  Figurative art gives these experiences and memories visual form and is the way that I endow these moments and people with a type of significance. In a time when countless images are available at our fingertips, I believe the choice to commit to images is more daunting but more important than ever.

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