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.
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.