My work has continually been about investigating the construction of identity as it relates to gender, sexuality, and the organic body. I am consistently compelled to examine notions of femininity, luxury and lifestyle, and then critique the constructs of those notions from a gender-queer perspective.
My recent paintings and drawings delve into the darker undertones of bourgeois lifestyles, referencing luxury and opulent decay. I abstract and re-combine elaborately decorative elements with organic material like flesh, hair, tentacles, eggs, fat, bone, muscle, crystalline structures and wood.
This intermingling of the natural and synthetic creates biomorphic abstractions with inherent narrative qualities; grotesque creatures imbibed with the power to both attract and repel, and the potential to host projections of human emotion and desire. These creatures are simultaneously engaging and seductive, while repellent and abject. They are highly decorative and organically corporeal-- and the combination suggests decadent femininity and an absurd opulence.
Forms in my work cluster and coagulate, and the resulting collaged organisms are lurid and monstrous, yet delicate, fragile, and curiously lovely. Somewhere in the DNA of these creatures is imagery that once had a life in objects made for consumption, and in media for women-- coded with standards and imperatives regarding femininity in American culture.
There is something highly fetishistic about the unexpected merging of these diverse elements, and I delight in accessing the potential visual meaning of fetish. There are, for me, suggestions of fetish as luxury/commodity, fetish as primitive personification, fetish as erotic fixation, fetish as artifact, (and in some pieces, paint and painting as fetish) within the work.
Formally, my work engages in traditional rendering and painterly technique, and in some pieces, loose emulation of scientific illustration. I love to dissolve the lines between the formal and scientific, and the symbolic and fictional. I have always been drawn to traditional Dutch Still Life paintings, with their piles of carved-open fish, partially peeled fruits, meat and bones, shiny goblets and wine flasks. I love the potential for allegory in the nature-morte and I have always thought of my creatures as a contemporary version of the nature-morte. I enjoy constructing from that tradition, what feels like an unfamiliar and fleeting space.
I try to consciously create compositions that confound and titillate, and the scale of my subjects in relationship to the viewers size is unclear (and hopefully, engaging in that respect). Ultimately, I strive to achieve a quality within the compositions that implies flirtation, exploration, irony, and potentially, danger.