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Strangers Series Artist Statement
Strangers Series
 
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  These paintings evolved from an exploration of images drawn from serial photography, a grid of portraits. The landscape imagery is intended as a stand-in for the figure, and as a representation of both inner & outer vastness. The paintings are improvised, to a large degree, to avoid contrived imagery, and use no photographic reference of any kind, nor any models. Recently I have also begun to experiment with revisiting single images from these paintings on a larger scale, attempting to distill more from them.

The gridded format also seems to imply an ambiguous narrative, or evoke film, but it was initially intended as a way to include many images in one painting. Also, though the palette employed does seem to evoke antiquity, and 19th century painting in particular, it was initially chosen for simplicity and versatility, so that the paintings would continue to evolve beyond pleasantries of color.

Thematically, the paintings are an exploration of longing, and estrangement, especially romantic and spiritual. They are intended to be evocative of a longing for a return to an original state, to unity, from our present divided selves & bodies. The image of the somnolent crowd in contrast to the individual is important in this regard, as are the images of fire and water. Unfashionable as it may be, I am attempting to at least evoke some of the emotions we struggle with deep in our hearts, minds, and souls. My conviction is that art should speak to, and fortify human experience, rather than be some sort of clever cultural game. We need affirmation in our fundamental humanity, and vulnerability, now more than ever.  As Carl Jung once said, “I don’t believe, I know.” I am trying to pass on a little of what I sense to be true in these paintings.
 
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