Artist Statement 2015
My work draws upon significant personal experiences that illuminate the extremities of human consciousness: altered or heightened states of physical, psychological, or emotional condition. In these cumulative moments, which are characterized by their intense, transgressive, revelatory, and often dream-like nature, I find terrain for contemplation and investigation. Seeming to exist simultaneously in dichotomous spaces, perhaps pulled inside out through opposing forces, these dialectical moments expose the complexity of territories between the intellect and the senses, places where the logical mind and subconscious interface with a deeper sense of being.
Through the fragmented, layered, and surgical process of collage, I seek to investigate surreal areas of radical juxtaposition. Symbolic cultural imagery related to the body, birth, death, marriage, sexuality, and “right of passage” rituals is often employed to discuss primal and universal fears, desires, and anxieties concerning the transitory nature of life and the contemporary human condition. I am particularly interested in paradoxical symbolism associated with ceremonies that both celebrate and mourn beginnings, endings, and the idea of forever, as these traditions often hold a mirror to the fact that we exist concurrently in both fixed and in-between spaces. Exploring tensions between beauty and the grotesque, constraint vs. comfort, and dominance vs. submission, I intend to create a visual language of archetypal imagery that can trigger an introspective psychological experience for the viewer, transpired by coinciding feelings of intrigue and aversion.
Working with hand-cut and assembled self-generated photographs, found images, and the dynamics of shadows and space, aspects of my process can be looked at much like a combination of stream of consciousness and constrained writing techniques. I tend to find, produce, and manipulate source materials as I go, working within a fixed set of thematic, conceptual, or visual constraints. Pulling from a personal archive of vintage and contemporary photographs, fashion magazines, pornographic publications, anthropological periodicals, and my own images, I embrace the element of chance in finding and placing pieces, as I enjoy exploring the tension between control and chaos. In dialogue with historic techniques and concepts utilized by the Surrealists, these methods allow for an automatic processing of visual information on a semiotic level, an intuitive sense of sight that is both linked to and detached from our contemporary mass media experience.