I have been painting, drawing, and taking photographs since I was very young. I studied art at the St. Philips College in San Antonio and the University of Texas, and have shown my work across Texas and in California. I have lived it, sold my blood for paint. But there have also been dry periods in my life where I have not honored my muse, and I’ve lit candles and chanted affirmations for her return. She always does.
My art work is primarily a social comment about art itself, about classicism and classism, with a bent toward deconstructing femininity. As an artist, I strive to see my world clearly, and have a gritty attraction for the juxtaposition of beauty and repulsion that exists in the potency of truth. I am very interested in the ways that that the female gender has been objectified, “beautified” and made into still life within the context of art history. I am also stimulated by the assessment of artistic value and worth held in our world culture, and in the role uneven power relationships have played in that process.
I style my work in a classically reverent manner in order to be irreverent. I am an avid studio photographer, and I usually paint from photographs using friends as models. These are real people (usually females) I consider to be very noble. There are often nude subjects in my work, and humorous hints of famous art pieces. My images are often narrative in nature, but I try to leave some of the dialogue open to interpretation.
My process often starts with an epic premise. Next I will sketch a staged scene that I feel best illustrates my concept, photograph the scene with dramatic lighting, and then paint from the photograph. Although the complete comment I am compelled to express exists wholly within the photograph itself, for me there is irony in infusing this concept with traditional value through the process of painting. I prefer to render my images in the “old world” manner using gossamer-thin glazes of oil. To negate the notion that the actual painting is the art, sometimes I will paint strong words over the finished images. Also, I will often paint an ornate Baroque-style frame around my finished work to further stress my conviction that art, beauty, gender, and value are constructs.
I am drawn moody portraits that expose the deeper aspects of a subject’s psyche. I love warm contrasts and saturated baroque reds. When I don’t have models, I do self portraits.
Most of my simple photographs are old-school, taken with an old beat-up Canon AE-1 from the 1970’s. One stark clip-on light with a 100 watt bulb against a black bed sheet serves as a studio. I developed most my negatives and prints in a darkroom by hand. With a nod to the new school, I used Photoshop to enhance those older images.
These days, I have a digital Canon Rebel and think in Photoshop.