For my purposes, painting and drawing act as parts of a continuum of image-making. It follows that grappling with problems of the materiality of paint, issues of scale, the dilemmas of subject and method- remain central to the sought after fusion of form and content.
Of course, this presupposes that such “fusion” is even required, possible or demonstrable. Ideally, the difficulty and resistance of the process (drawing, painting, erasure, scoring, sanding, repainting and so on) would remain on the surface of the painting as evidence of an interminable search.
The work always begins with a compound and assembly of images- these could be drawings, photographs, printed material or an analysis of film or video. The painted or drawn transformation is inevitably a process of making and unmasking, confirmation and contamination. The relative unpredictability of paint- is often set against my desire to be specific or descriptive. I tell myself that this tension is a reflection of inner processes- psychological imperatives embodied in paint. But of course, matters are rarely as straightforward as this.
I accept that painting has its histories- the western tradition is but one among them. I have chosen to identify with it because it encompasses so many great works that continue to baffle and excite me.
In our time, the image is a weightless, ubiquitous, super-fast commodity- attributes that may at first seem antithetical to painting. Of course, I want to underline that my activities with paint could never exist without images. As such, the influence of images is a fundamental part of the fabric of experiences that define our contemporary consciousness. Ultimately the image must be subsumed in a painterly vocabulary. And yet one can never fully anticipate how the translation of reference into paint activates a work’s final psychological or emotional resonance.
I want to argue for painting as a means of elaborating an alternative “real”. A real constructed to reflect a more fundamental and mysterious brand of truthfulness- a subjective truth. In the end we may discover, that what we dredge up are mere figments- instincts and obsessions that both confirm and collapse our expectations about what it means to be human in the twenty first century.