Experiencing a painting is akin to experiencing a landscape, at least in how we take it in through our eyes and also through some mysterious emotional or psychological level. Akin, also, in how one can look out into a space and sort of swim in it, get lost in it, without moving the feet. I think this experience is an essential indicator of our humanity, one that slips away as we increasingly experience the world through the mediation of screens.
My paintings are not utopian. To varying degrees, they reflect this ecstatic sense of wonder that refers to my in-person experiences of different natural landscapes, but also, they bring up the more problematic reality of humans’ relationship to landscape today, and how we rapidly digest it through photography. The paintings are peppered with photographic sections and contrast the visual cues of our human interventions--power lines, artificial colors, banal architectural structures--with signs of nature.
I try to imbue my paintings with multiple speeds of digestion. There’s an overall drama, accessible through the image’s reproduction on social media and the internet. Realistically, 90% of the people who see my paintings will encounter them online. But the image is not the painting, it should draw you in, entice you to a slower look, and ultimately reward the in-person perceptual experience the most.
I am deeply influenced by how different members of my family, not to mention my country, possess clashing worldviews. In our divided times, I hope for peace in difference, through empathy. In the paintings, I see the co-existence of formal, dynamic tensions and overall harmony as metaphorical, rendering the paintings ultimately hopeful. Further, by creating a space that feels impossible, like something you’ve never seen before, but that’s believable, I hope my paintings can evoke a critical sense of discovery and possibility.