I was diagnosed with cancer in 2000. Today I am cancer free. This personally painful experience profoundly shaped me as an individual and artist. This event informs my artwork today. I do not try to represent those moments I had. I find myself creating imagery in order to make sense of certain things that have occurred or I wish to occur. I chose to work with oil paint primarily because of its fluid, fleshy, visceral and organic quality, not unlike the body. The painting surface is a skin. I use metallic pigments in my Nights Liquid series where I consider Cisplatin, the primary type of chemotherapy I received. Cisplatin is a Platinum based drug, invented by mistake in 1975 by Barnett Rosenberg at the National Cancer Institute. Luckily for me and others, Cisplatin the first of all the chemo drugs, provided a second chance, despite the drugs damaging effects. This notion of a metallic poison as giver of life, interests me in the Nights Liquid series. I use metallic paints not only for autobiographical reasons, but as a way to include the environment and context in which the work is displayed, within the work. In my color painting series Monochromes, Union, and Triads, I am most interested in staging a celebratory and investigative relationship between the essential parts of Painting and me the artist, agent. The essential painter’s toolbox consists of the flat surface, red, yellow, blue and white. I think of my interaction with these basic materials as a collaborator. I equate my action to those tool box components, everything contributes proportionally. The pallet is skipped in these works, in an effort to work more directly with the essential materials. By working in a manner where I do not represent something, I touch on the very essences of Painting.
I only have a tool box, a given set of materials, certain abilities, knowledge and my burning desire to make something with imperfect hands. I am searching for the best way forward in a beautiful and fluid foreign surrounding. In the face of personal oblivion, what does the ego and emotion really matter? Things occurred, are still occurring, and have yet to occur. I think of my work in relation to this phenomenon. We can only perceive a small slice of what is happening around us. My work appears to have been frozen in time, coming from somewhere, maybe just out of the picture plane and about to move forward past that moment. The work draws strength from this juxtaposition. I hope that the experience in viewing my artwork will revolve around this particular sense of heightened awareness.
“The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little star dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched.” – Henry David Thoreau