Typically a negative image of something is meant to have a sinister connotation —it is common in horror movies and television edits, familiarly banal. When the white of eyes and teeth are blackened, and shadow areas glow, this inverts a hierarchy in Western understanding of perceptual color, light and shadow.
Whereas the former is associated with knowledge, enlightenment, and piety, shadows are the dark sides of human nature. The negative image has a convincing relationship to ‘the truth’, and as a direct complement, the two are mutually codependent (photo development depends on the existence of a negative image blocking out light). With that said, what does it mean to privilege this visual truth? Is it an inversion of conventional morality? Or is it a mere admission of the role of reproduced media in making my paintings—images that are created chemically, using a complex process of light and time, where the negative image is a hidden but crucial element. Laying that process bare while painting realistically make it clear the levels of construction and deception at every stage of the image-making.
An inventory of the objects:
Halloween masks and props, shots of Sex on the Beach, flyers for old monster truck rallies and pages from a Christian business directory, emptied packaging, a pair of shoes, medication, books, wedding invitations, a brick backdrop, and other ephemera.
Among these are inspirational classroom posters (“You can’t change your past, but you can change your future “You are responsible for your own actions”). Fragmented copies of these aphorisms are repeated elsewhere in the space, photocopied directly from the poster. Similarly, the brick backdrop is photocopied and meant to visually link with the painted counterpart.
The things I keep around are either of personal significance, left through negligence, or objects I acquire for the sake of a painting. Having them coexist in detailed compositions (which fluctuate from positive ‘straight’ space and a negative, manipulated image) disrupts their functionality in daily life, leaving everything to the laws of aesthetics. This reflects the objects’ initial appeal--visual, primal comforts.
If the minimal interior space can represent affluence and a clear mind, the space of the hoarder represents instability and hunger.
Most of these images come from the internet. I would like to summon images into life and absorb strangers’ histories, relationships, to make up for what I feel is my own deficient personal history.
My work addresses fraudulence and precarity, especially as they relate to class position. Gold leafed sides, upon close viewing, are flaking off and hand-applied. An image of a roulette table is highly staged, sourced from stock photography. Seemingly innocuous portraits of women or fragments of bodies are from aspiring models and amateur porn. Everywhere, this utopian vision of wealth and glamour is tainted by the knowledge of what was required to get there, and what seedy deceptions lie underneath the surface.
My work is about notions of authenticity.