This series is a way for me to work out different approaches and techniques in my art. By taking away the complexities in my works themes I can focus on how the material is working within the image. It also allows for a more free form of expression more based in feeling and intuition than the deep thought that goes into my other work.
The images here focus on the winding tunnels and cavities that ants create when they build and work on their nests. In most cases The founding Queen will land after mating with one or more male ants, or drones. She will then proceed to cut off her own wings making it easier for her to tunnel into the soft earth she has found which is ideal for her nest. She digs down to create the first nest site, she then hatches her first brood. This first group of non-reproductive females will protect their queen, bring her food, and continue to build the colony out from the first nest site.
Representation of an Ant Colony 7
32"x48", Charcoal on paper, 2013
Representation of an Ant colony 6
32"x48", Charcoal on paper, 2013
Series: War Paint
War Paint, a projection onto the blank canvas of the skin. an exoskeleton formed by necessity. Protecting her, hiding her, revealing her, making her stronger in the face of the enemy.
Abstract Composition still lives
This is a collection of my still life paintings, drawings, and collages. These works focus on the interaction between the objects depicted. They try to stretch the limits of our perceptions of objects while in some cases abandoning our perceptions of time and space. The still lives shown here are apart of a long term investigation in the Still Life tradition as well as the traditions of object philosophies such as Transcendentalism, Materialism, and Object Oriented Ontology. This investigation is still in its beginning phase and I hope to document its progress both here and in my blog on this site.
The real object withdraws, hides behind layers of built up material. Obscured by sensual facades it uses to interact with the world. Amorphous shapes familiar but ambiguous at the same time. Stripped of literal interpretation they are withdrawn and unchangeable. The static quality that permeates through the abstract in pattern and rhythm give it form and structure, rules that govern and contract. This is the essence of the unified object withdrawn, hidden, unable to interact. Unknown yet known.
The sensual object plays in depictions that press out from the surface. Each translated from object, to creator, to inter-actor in a continuous cycle of time. Gaining new permutations and meaning with each new inter-actor and drawing from them for their continued existence. They have a tentative momentary relation with the abstracted withdrawn forms they overlap. Interacting indirectly, playing within the same space yet able to be removed entirely with little consequence while still holding their own form and structure and contiguity. Mobile yet imobile.
The female has been used as a muse in art for centuries. The oldest piece of art the Venus of Willendorf is a female fertility token depicting a voluptuous naked woman. All the most famous paintings are of women The Mona Lisa, Olympia, Venus of Urbino, The Birth of Venus, Bathers, Le Demoiselles d'Avignon, Woman I. The list is endless.
These collages of contemporary women taken from Victoria Secret catalogs highlights the idea of the women as an object of desire in art. Looking at the role of women in art historically and contemporarily opens the door for many other views on how women are perceived by others and themselves in a society that still struggles to create a world that is equal to all regardless of race, religious background, or gender.
The objects, brought together by the shelf, hold memories, memories of those who gave them, those who used them for a time and then left them behind.
The books encapsulate the person that once read them, housing the essence and the feelings of the person he was when he had picked them up and when finished, returned them back to the shelf. They are his influences, some of the stories, ideas, and people who have inspired him.
Like a loving father the shelf brings together the books, toys, pictures, cups, and other objects, holding them in it's steadfast embrace. Unwavering and unafraid the shelf stands strong against the wall, it's paddle steering calmly into the waiting waters, whatever they may hold.
The Flight of the Queen
“The virgin queen departs from the nest in which she was reared, leaving behind her mother, who is queen of the colony, and her sisters, who are either sterile workers or virgin reproductives like herself. She meets one or more males and is inseminated. The males soon die without returning home, while the queen finds a suitable nest site in the soil or plant material and constructs a first cell. Here she rears her first brood of workers.”
Hölldobler, Bert, and Edward O. Wilson.The ants. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1990. Print.
This is an artist book I created using collage.
The Garden of Earthly Delight
Venus/Eve/Tinker Bell/nymph/queen discards her apple/tablet/virginity/ignorance leaving Eden/her father's house/Disney World/Dreamtime/the ant hill. Reveling in her new found self-awareness/freedom/sexuality she steps out, into the Garden of Earthly Delights.
The Bull, the Flower, and the Ants
This large painting (5'6"x10') depicts the jumble of human emotion. love, struggle, violence, sex, morality, immorality, hedonism, power, aggression, and passion collide in an orgy of figures connected by the undertones of the ants, their tunnels weaving through the human figures.
These paintings were all done while I was studying painting at The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. They are the beginnings of my thoughts on society, the environment, and painting. They are also a document my fascination with the tiny creatures that fill them, the ants.
Art. Emotion, depiction, representation, abstraction...underneath it all... Media and interaction. The artists function is to problem solve. How do I get paint from here, to here? What will this color do when I put it next to this one? Will this media work with this other media? How can I get them to interact, how can I stabilize them? The final answer isn't important or is not necessary or will never be found. The artist doesn't need to be right or sure. What happens when I do this? For the art to exist without human emotion, meaning, and concept the artist must focuses on creation and discovery, exploring the limitations of the given materials and the ways that different media can interact when given a set of rules to follow within the parameters of the problem at hand. The inter-actor focuses on meaning and concept. What these elements do for them when they are approached in certain ways and in certain methods, how do past experiences and knowledge change the work? To be an inter-actor is to add to the story of a work. Duchamp proposed, “The creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act.”(Marcel Duchamp, The Act of Creation) If this is to be assumed then the creative act is never truly finished with each inter-actor bringing a new interpretation to the work at hand. Even the artist becomes inter-actor eventually, sliding into this new role, exploring the work in the same way as everyone else but with their own unique perspective
These collages use found materials to focus on creative problem solving. by using these objects and the interactions between them, the ink on paper backgrounds, and any materials used to force interaction.