The current thematic content of the paintings--the animal skull--was found fortuitously, but the skulls grabbed me, and I have been in an inquiry ever since. I have been going down a rabbit hole of dialogue between me and the skulls. They nudged me to start learning about paleontology, mass extinctions and now I am deep into contemplation of climate change, biodiversity loss and the many crises caused by ecological overshoot. As the research has deepened, the paintings have become concomitantly more colorful, textured, and raw. Our age of destruction carries inherent contradictions and conundrums on an individual and spiritual level. The mind can experience joy, love, and transcendence while simultaneously harboring gut wrenching knowledge and while perpetrating unseen destruction. Can mass extinction really be understood by the intellect or the heart? We are impermanent, joyful, body-minds, and our own mortality is a microcosm of our current age’s existential crisis.
The reason I draw and paint cannot be reduced to logic or purpose. After abandoning the creation of artwork, it became clear to me that there was a certain impoverished quality to my life without it. My life was not as rich, and the lack of creative engagement was weighing me down. My altruistic attitude has critiqued the type of art making that I currently engage in as lacking benefit to other human beings and this was a great impedance. I make art in spite of, not because of, any higher calling or notion of productivity or purpose. The value of art isn’t necessarily straightforward, and is not easily understood by the logical mind, but that is its beauty, that is its purpose. It fulfills a part of human beings that is unseen, and in ways hard to name.
words are art too
empty the dishwasher
fill the dishwasher
The dishes are clean
I am not satisfied
Clashing buttermilk panfrying fingers and electrified eels
Please take me into your succulent jaws and rip me wide open so the starry-eyed grackles can make a feast of my flesh as they turn my insides into glitter and sparkles of flesh ignite into a new drab dance
One of smoldering, ashen and coal.
Distressed turns grey and I welcome you with my open arms!
All of the mush and muck and brown, smooshy crap that feels like a dissipated and washed out fire.
Wet coals and smoke
Wash me away!
Water me down until there is nothing left! Only purity, reflection, absence, calm and cool.
Flowers will emerge from all this drama—Big, fluffy and exuberant flowers
Ruffled and giddy and excessive—frivolous flower orgies of delight.
And in all of that there are diamonds of love
There are flower gems of light and petals and bittersweet persimmon love
The love that has been so ignored with ego claiming to be too embarrassed by it, too afraid of it.
Unflinching, vulnerable, naked, stark mad love
The sober love.
The love that just is. The love that is there when everything else has fallen away.
The clarity of already-known and never forgotten love that IS
The flesh sparkles made alit by those grackles
Ripped open by the jaws of that eel
That exuberance and life
Dead seals skinned and eaten.
Candlelight dinners with red roses wrapped in plastic on a refrigerator
Radon arsenic and well-water poison gas leak spills into the Atlantic
Boys go swimming in the hood
asbestos and wine