Full Artist's statement
The term rhyparography refers to still life or genre painting, particularly of trivial - or even what could be thought of as unsavory - subject matter. Though this term can be considered pejorative, I am preoccupied with the challenge of portraying common or low subjects as images worthy of contemplation. My subject matter ranges from items with obvious visual and tactile pleasure, to substances that may be literal or figurative garbage. I present these items to explore a combination of subjectivity and the impersonal and mundane.
My current interests include the tradition of Vanitas still life, consumer culture, painting’s history, and the contrast of preciousness and disposability. These ideas are shaped by equal interest in classical painting and images from mass culture. I am most drawn to images that prompt a visceral response. I display materials that are akin to paint and canvas – cloth, tissue, products and food substances that stain. The viscosity of paint evokes the physicality of materials that can inspire joy or disgust. I hope to entice the viewer to reconsider the ordinary, or even tacky.
Previous bodies of work concern the act of viewing and the notion of “visual overload”. A craving for great amounts of stimulus, or what I think of as visual gluttony, is referenced through images of food substances that could be visually or metaphorically related to the human body and the act of consumption. I explore issues of desensitization and excess using imagery borrowed from film and cartoons. Dualities of the absurd and the menacing - conscious and unconscious, masculine and feminine, attractive and repellant - lie at the heart of this work. I want to create images that are both attractive and troubling, reflecting my own feelings about my aesthetic sensibilities.