I work from a place of historical and individual reference points and try to arrive at a visual representation of what I’m reacting to and/or perceiving at any given moment, first nature, then human. Over the years my art has slid back and forth and in between landscape and people. In recent years, the focus on people has taken precedence as I have become increasingly preoccupied with issues of identity and impermanence. We presume to ‘know’ what we see, who we are, yet there is nothing consistent or continuous about any aspect of identity, whether identity of the self, the other or objects. I have pushed myself to try and understand through visual means how technology interacts with human behavior and what results are being drawn from that combination.
As science moves us deeper and deeper into the biological underpinnings of our physical makeup, our minds, our thoughts and our identities are shifting to accommodate the increasingly grand changes in the world. We perceive ourselves not only through the lens of what we read online or see in the mirror, but we now get to be endlessly self-reflective vis-a-vis cell phone cameras, online information and research and the general feedback we receive about the ‘norm’.
Yet, we remain human and we continue to have deep, complex aspects of that humanity that affect how we behave even if we don’t acknowledge them. We are not as we appear to be. Rather we appear as we are wont to be. We are generating some critical aspect of who we are and even how we are in the world, mitigated by what we hope others will see in us and what we perceive they actually do. My personal practice with Buddhist meditation and my studies with the Mexika healer, Tzenwoxolokwautli, have taught me that the unseen world(s) are strikingly important in each interaction we have.
In the purest sense, If I had a goal for the work as an artist, it would be to create a compelling argument for photographs, drawings and paintings that are valid as experiential. The process of creating something, say a portrait, is an interplay between the ‘art subject’ as object and the artist. The final product, the image, prompts a reaction or interaction with the viewer. If the work generates anxiety, the person leaves with some anxiety as a result.
Another important aspect of my work is the integration of and interaction between man and nature. Stated so eloquently by Amir H. Zekrgoo of the Ghandi National Center for the Arts,
“The modern view of art is moulded by man’s view of nature. It has become the habit of science and modern thinking to view nature as an adversary, as a dimension to be conquered. Man, in the course of his progress and civilization, has ravaged nature to such an extent, that he can no longer consider himself one with it. In many ways, man has violated nature and its laws. He has taken from it more than meets his needs and given nothing back. The alienation from nature is reflected in the view of art today. Whereas art once represented nature, purity and harmony, it now reflects agitation, restlessness and the frenzied pace of modern living.”
He goes on to say,
“A view of the close relationship of nature and man is found in the East…and is reflected well in the words of Rumi:
Every small bit of the world tells you secretly, day and night
We listen, we see, and we are conscious. But, to you Na-Mahams (strangers to the secret of existence) we are silent.”
My work is at its best an illustration of the anxiousness humans feel in the natural world more today than ever. The world once dominated by nature is rapidly being replaced by one that mirrors our own failings and insecurities, glories and idiosyncrasies. We are making the world in our own ever shifting image, one that offers a perspective of both the oneness of man and nature and the lack of definition we actually have.
I hope you will take the time to consider what I’m doing and have done. Time is an essential component of understanding my work.
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