ARTIST  STATEMENT 2008

There is a certain kind of futility attached to the artist statement when you make work like mine. It suggests a level of intellectual authority or conceptual boundary on work that is disingenuous. In fact, my work method is procedurally messy, historically contingent and just plain slippery. As a result, while acknowledging the interpretive procedures at play in viewing painting, I have come accept the limits of any set discourse to do justice to the raw experience of looking.

The current work is a part of a larger painting practice that is in a critical (and at times highly problematic) dialogue with the historical conventions of abstraction. Though it has been tempting (and in some circles inevitable) to read the work as a knowing critique of historical models of self-expression, it is my hope that my work appears slightly more puzzling and unexpected, and perhaps less fixed to any certain interpretative or critical position.

Max Ernst coined the term “fever vision” in the early 1920s to describe a kind of visual delirium and psychological slippage that can occur in front of certain kinds of visual assemblages. I am finding myself increasingly attracted to this notion because of the implied emphasis, or better comfort in a certain heightened loss of control on the part of the viewer in attempting to apprehend meaning. It also implies illness, rapture--apt metaphors for the historical predicament of abstract painting. Yet through the years, the central issue of my painting has remained intact: how does one make abstract paintings that appear knowing, without succumbing to easy cynicism, or visually enticing without collapsing into feigned sentiment or pastiche. It is perhaps here that the delusion of fever enables the potential for meaning.