I recently read that printmakers were primarily image-catchers and painters were primarily image-makers. The article wasn’t suggesting a hierarchy; rather it described the way the images were created. This statement struck me curiously. My approach to printmaking has always been one of image-maker, but this text inspired me to reconsider how and where I use layers of silkscreen. Multiple layers of my prints are intermixed with layers of paint and graphite. I used the “image-capture” idea as I stenciled already applied specific marks of paint and graphite from the paper, and then screen-printed those marks as a new layer. When I offset the printed “painterly mark” and the actual drawn marks, it creates what I call a “stayed halo.” Now on the surface, there are interesting tensions between the layers of fluid movement and moments of static composition.
The separation between artist’s intent and viewer’s reception is vast. As an artist, I am drawn to intuitive mark making in a non-representational manner which dances on the precarious precipice of chance. I’ve come to know that the challenge isn’t in creating the work, rather in creating/inventing from a truly naive place. As a formally educated artist, how does one forget the rules of composition and materiality that would hold me to Modernist conventions? As a contemporary artist making non-representational work, how does one not slip into seeing these works with feigned sentiment or as pastiche?
My research and studio practice explores the fragile balance between the visually energetic (yet sometimes critically vacuous) painterly marks that are in combination of both printmaking and drawing languages. I create images that are at the cusp between the representational/knowable and the less tangible properties of emotion and non-linear identification. While I am likely running the risk of creating a duality in reading and meaning (between material presence of the artists’ hand and the dislocated screen-print mark), I have created a landscape for viewers to scrape, discern, and make meaning of their interpretations.
I’ve come to accept that I love to paint. I hide away in my studio, and with guilty pleasure, I push paint and wax into submission. I went for a stretch where my conceptual battle had me handcuffed from painting—I then decided to continue to paint and be willing to view the work as daily practice. I’m not saying to paint is a modernist convention; it is with admission that much of the conceptual struggle I face is the caffeine for my practice.
I invite myself and others to slow down in order to better discern space and object. My intent is to discover the miniscule. With this discovery, the miniscule becomes monumental. The subtle becomes obvious. Questions about art and non-art become irrelevant. In many ways, the viewer’s alerted aesthetic sensibility is the art itself. The viewer’s movements within the physical space become the catalyst for how the work interacts with itself, the surroundings, and the viewer.
Challenging the notion of what sculpture represents, I create objects that negate structural balance, reinforce the idea of non-permanence, re-source non-traditional materials, and present a structure that reinforces the surrounding area rather than the object itself.