“Man’s experience of himself always hovers in a balance between being and having body, a balance that must be redressed again and again.” (Berger and Luckmann)
Our bodies betray us, they make us vulnerable when they don’t conform. They expose our emotional states more plainly than our words; they display personal histories that we want to keep secret. I engage with my body because it acts independent of my class, race or gender. It transcends these boundaries in its universal and forthright nature, allowing me to crystallize specific and nebulous ideas into direct, relatable imagery.
My work is guided by intuition. Paintings and sculptures embody my feelings in particular circumstances without portraying a recognizable narrative or representational structure. The shape of the subject reveals my impetus for the work -- a slouch, swell, or sag portrays a feeling. The subjects arise for reasons that I am not aware of at the time, yet my feelings are crystallized into an evocative form.
I portray dissonance in my relationship with my body through photography and collage by constructing a reality that is familiar, yet different. The images portray daily negotiations with my body by juxtaposing an ungainly form with a recognizable cultural habit and setting. The images are specific to my habits and my home, yet they translate universally: the familiar settings and organic forms enable viewers to see themselves in the images.
My work as an educator and an artist is an attempt to recognize, question, and transcend cultural norms. I hope to connect with myself and others by engaging with our primitive, strange, and unique behaviors. When we recognize that culture is constructed -- that it echoes one perspective on a larger story -- we are empowered to make choices about how to live, rather than assume that our lives are predetermined.