These works are painted primarily using my other hand (non-dominant), which came about through a process of wanting to un-train and loosen up my artistic practice. Confronted with my own aging and the limitations of arthritic hands, I’m no longer interested in the pain of technical excellence but rather in the paring down of a memory or the perception of that memory into the most basic elements. Telling the story with as little distraction as possible provides a clarity in no uncertain terms.
I exploit old family photos for the basis of this work. The quirky and often lack of photo composition pushes me to take compositional risks of my own.
It’s not enough for me to remember and represent the moment in a literal sense. It is more important that I am able transfer the feeling of that moment onto the viewer.
The color palette I use is the result of old photos and 1960s bad taste. In all fairness that bad taste probably had more to do with economics than a lack of style. The old photos have aged in yellow or orange tones and for some reason, I’m hit with the warmth of a nostalgia that never existed. Is what I remember, what I am seeing in the photos? Is what I perceive simply confirmation bias?
Body language throughout the series reveals the skeletal remains of family dynamics. Dynamics that are deeply rooted in patriarchy and a tradition of dysfunction.
Who is present and who is not present in the images are equally important. Being that these paintings are based on family photos, this becomes obvious and is both pun and metaphor. All one has to do is ask, “Who took the photos?”
Unique to the series is the red/orange haired child with detached head. This is not representative of a dissociative disorder. Rather it is a reflection of things that were said to the child and also reflects never feeling grounded or having a sense of belonging. A feeling that traveled with me until the death of my father in 2017.