My work draws from literature, folklore, mythology, and psychology in an attempt to create a fluid method for purging the unconscious. In the Poetics, Aristotle warns against condemning uncomfortable and disturbing art. He writes that such works reinforce cultural harmony by allowing audiences to explore the darker aspects of human nature. This ancient, yet timely theory of art resonates with my belief that art should be a ritual apparatus for approaching a contemporary version of Edmund Burke’s idea of the sublime, the space of “awe and terror” where beauty is bound up with the unnerving.
Figurative distortion (flattening, elongation, and omission of eyes, ears, or hair) unmoors the viewer from realist aesthetics and guides them towards other symbols to complete a narrative. I am also interested in the geometry of art; not only regarding composition, but also as another level of symbolism to give the viewer insight into the psyche of figures and their environments. I abstract every level of a work down to its shapes, lines, angles, and curves as much as possible to create a sculptural feel while still retaining a recognizable narrative and my palette is limited to only the colors that contribute symbolically to elucidating the story. Although my first love was monochromatic illustration, painting allows me to create sharp color separations that make the visual language of a piece more readable.
I am influenced by traditional African aesthetics regarding the art object as a tool whose purpose encompasses more than the work’s material expression or interpretation. I believe this theory also applies to Medieval art, folk art, Expressionism, and Symbolism, all of which shape my work.