Artist Statement

My paintings do not represent, recreate or express anything; they are not abstractions from nor do they specifically signify anything else; each one is a visual and organic whole. My paintings are an attempt to sublimate self- expression through focusing on the perceptual nature of color as reflected light. My paintings seek to integrate chance, environmental interaction, time and the participation of the viewer.

Why paint? I am not entirely certain why it was that I started painting. Painting continues to be a sufficiently complex set of personal predilections, cultural conditionings and other obscure motivations, which I cannot (with my limited expository skills) sufficiently explain. Some of the possibilities that I have entertained are: rebellion against the futility and unfairness of life in the face of the certainty and finality of death*; having a conversation with other painters (past, present and future); creating objects of/for contemplation; seeking essences that cannot be communicated verbally, narratively or through pictorial representation.

The black paintings are in part a response to questions both perceptual and formal that began to preoccupy me a couple of years ago. If black is the absence of color, where is the boundary between color and black? What formal and familiar constructs can be eliminated from a painting so that only its essence remains? Is it possible to create paintings sufficiently difficult and demanding of their audience that they effectively resist assimilation into mass (pop/dominant) culture? Is it possible to paint in such a way as to eliminate gesture while unambiguously retaining the hand of the artist? Is it possible to create paintings that are both confrontational and contemplative?

The bull's-eye paintings are the culmination of a project started over twenty years ago. The initial drawings and paintings, executed over a span of four years in the late eighties/early nineties, were the result of my childhood and military experience with guns and targets, and the personal dislocation experienced seeing these shapes in museums (Johns and Noland come to mind). More recently, when looking for a way to partition the picture plane between two colors without vertical or horizontal lines, I decided to revisit the target or bull's- eye. Doing so also brought into focus the question, when does a painted object cease to be a painting and become something else, something with utility? This series of paintings/objects was made with the intention that they would first and foremost be targets, destined to be shot, their objectness reinforced by the removal of the hand made surface. Are they still paintings?

* hence my fascination with the potential permanence of paintings, and the use in my paintings of materials and methods that promote permanence.