My concentration is toward understanding the paradigm of painting, (cause/effect) focusing on the conceptual framework and expanding the historically predetermined boundaries of painting. I feel a distinct responsibility as an artist, but more importantly as a human, to reach, involve, educate, frustrate and implicate an audience inside and outside of the gallery. Artists like Mel Chin, Tim Rollins and Felix Gonzalez Torres have and are involving the viewer and the public in a discourse, which creates a space where important sociopolitical issues can be discussed and remedied. With an eye on contemporary issues and historical facts I hope to interact the viewer personally with the artwork. In a benefit show for the Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project, I filled the gallery floor with replica evergreens forcing gallery visitors to step over, between and sometimes on the evergreen trees. The effort to preserve the artwork was juxtaposed with the effort to preserve the environment. Although my concentration is painting, I am focused on using any means necessary to create the type of space where issues are not only noticed but also resolved.

The antistrophic qualities in my paintings are deliberate, asking of the viewer a closer inspection into the circumstances involved. I am incorporating paintings whose narratives have been established. By juxtaposing them with current images a catalyst is created asking the viewer to go backward, forward and then backward again constantly keeping an eye on contemporary concerns that effect us directly and indirectly. This West to East, East to West, Right to Left, Left to Right ideology is essentially important to empathizing and understanding other cultures and peoples. It is loaded with applicable ideas that play on the etymology of the words as well as the epistemology of history. My goal is not to criticize but to instead create the impetus for change. When addressing inciting change through painting Gerhard Richter said, “…one eventually gets to a point where one thinks that humanity could be changed by painting…otherwise painting is pure idiocy.” I believe that change is influenced by education, and often implication of one’s self. Salmon Rushdie writes, “We are a nation of forgetters.” I understand that I am part of that nation, or generation and I am trying to focus and apply history with the conscience that history was written by the victors, to enrich my paintings with a conceptual infrastructure.

“Antistrophe” deals with the current war in the Middle East and accurately portrays the direction I would like to pursue with my work. There’s a quote from the Bible where God is speaking to Jonah about his decision not to destroy the city of Nineveh. “But Nineveh has more than twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, should I not be concerned about that great city.” Nineveh today is Mosul, Iraq. The map in the background is a satellite picture of Iraq littered with plumes of smoke from bombs. I have switched my right and left hands in a self-accusation, void of the innocent ignorance referred to in the quote. By borrowing some of the rich subtleties of Vermeer’s paintings I am inviting the viewer into a discussion involving the allegoric symbols of the painting, which is meant to extract compassion. It is important for me to point fingers towards the oppressed in a move apropos to understanding and benevolence.