THINGS THAT ARE IMPORTANT* TO ME IN PAINTING
Aim to proceed with a devil-may-care work ethic. Cheerful and reckless. Painting is an active investigation. Invent processes and re-discover painting for myself all the time. Figure it out as I go in a leap of faith, expecting to arrive at something I find personally and intimately beautiful.
Let first-hand personal experience of aesthetic arrest be the true north that guides me. Make something to look at and know experientially -- not as a concept to be grasped. Let there be room for epiphany. Don’t give in to pressure to validate through explanation. Be generous.
Aim for nothing less than to create things that transcend oppression, violence, hate, ignorance, and existential ennui. Do it in my own way. If it works on me, it might work on other people. Art’s highest good is as an outpost and a trigger of freedom and happiness. I’m interested in art that makes me feel in love with the world. Artists have the ability and responsibility to restore humanity to humanity through what we do. Some have said that looking at my work makes them feel more free and I’d like to keep making that happen.
For me it is more about the music than the lyrics. In other words, though there are recognizable objects in my paintings subject matter (the “lyrics”) is not what primarily motivates me.
I want to be virtuous in the ways that I share my work with the world and I wrestle with what that means for me.
*About the word important
I feel strongly that people should be more discerning about when they use the word “important” to describe art. Often what they mean is that a particular work of art or artist is currently influential, popular, or expensive. This does not make it important. I unreservedly believe that the arts are important to the survival of humanity, but when I hear critics or gallerists say that this or that artist or painting is “important,” it reads to me as a symptom of a perverse “art world” paradigm which is obsessed with status, money, and power -- when what the world needs more of is cultural offerings which inspire and strengthen humanity's more virtuous qualities like empathy, sensitivity to beauty, and love of life.