In my painting I aim to explore themes consonant with my philosophical writing, including the idea (which is central to my reading of Rousseau) that our coming to acknowledge others is an expression of our passional or affective natures. Typically the figures in my paintings look back at us, as though hoping to elicit our sympathy. Exactly because they are not always immediately recognizable to us as human, their demands for sympathy are both fraught and urgent. I hope that beholders might see in them the expression of a pet, or of a doppelgänger.
I think of art-making as a kind of labor, and I am attracted to the idea, entertained by Asger Jorn and Raymond Williams, that it is part of society's material base (and not only part of its ideological superstructure). Specifically, I think of art-making as a kind of material labor that, when it captures a subject's individuality, and ensnares us in relationships of recognition, can also constitute a challenge to various pathological ways of reifying persons.
Visually, I take particular inspiration from Jorn's own paintings, as well as from the art of Alina Szapocznikow, Francis Bacon, Francisco Toledo, and cinema of all kinds.
Casa Rosa Centro Cultural Independiente, Oaxaca City, Oaxaca, Mexico, September 2017
Robbins Library of Philosophy, Harvard University, February-December 2016
Bergamot Restaurant, Somerville, Massachusetts, September 2015-February 2016
Open Studios, Carpenter Center for Visual Arts, Harvard University, December 2016
Open Studios, Carpenter Center for Visual Arts, Harvard University, May 2016