Diving deep into the human psyche and unraveling the twisted, menacing and sometimes playful personalities that are distorted both by the viewer and through my own self-perception is what drives me to create art. In the series Distortion, I create multi-dimensional spaces with ceramic arts and large oil paintings that individually hold their own ground and expose subtle nuances of the human mind. When paired with their respective counterparts, they push the envelope wide open to expose the full meaning behind their creation. Inspired by Hellenistic art, I strive to stretch the limits of emotion through distorted self-portraits full of movement, energy and mystery.
The paintings usually begin with photographs I select - favorites of mine from when I loved my outer self the most. Using high-tech smartphone apps and Adobe Photoshop, I stretch, twirl and warp the photos into grotesque faces before I begin the process of painting them on canvases. Often, I go back and forth as the painting progresses, further distorting images of the painting itself in Photoshop, until I am satisfied. I am drawn to a dark palette full of Hellenistic drama and mystery. My paintings begin with acrylic underpaintings before layering on oil paint to create close-up headshots with oversized unnatural features that each have unique personalities and represent different aspects of my own life that I've personified for years and now, manifested by my completely weird thoughts brought to life on canvas.
These self-portraits extend beyond the canvas with ceramic artworks. I enjoy the processes of throwing clay on a wheel and hand-building clay using coiled white stoneware. Stoneware is impermeable when dry, which is often how others view me - as if nothing ever hurts. While this is not the case, the stoneware medium metaphorically reinforces the skewed perceptions shared by many and the artworks are open invitations to dig deeper into the meaning behind the entire exhibition. The stoneware is built and fired in my studio with my own kiln and is then painted with washes and glazes before being fired again in the kiln. The ceramic artworks are intended to be viewed along with closely positioned oil paintings and together they represent my own distorted views of myself and also the distortion that I imagine others perceive as well.