Everything is ambiguous; there are always multiple possible explanations for why we do anything. Retrospectively, what do I know about my work? Being alone in the phenomenal world (I specify the phenomenal world because as a Buddhist I believe that we are all ultimately connected), anomie, loss of self, the search for authentic identity, the difficulty of communication, color, texture, matter; these are recurrent themes in my work. I am sometimes tempted to say that I must be exploring my unconscious response to the universe and to materials. Is that accurate? I don’t know. Other times I’m tempted to focus on process: I thought this, I did this, then this happened, then that came to mind, then I did this other thing, then I noticed something else, etc.; all the things that a viewer can’t see or know when confronted with a particular work. Content/meaning; oddly enough, while I have a general sense of where I am going when I start a work, my best work has developed when I have set myself some technical challenge: making drawings with no lines, working only in black and white, building texture to compete with the imagery, eliminating saturated colors. What I can say with some degree of certainty is that when I begin a painting, I want to make a painting that I want to see. The phrase “a terrible beauty” sticks in my mind; something like the feeling I had when I first saw Van Gogh, Bonnard, and Rothko in the flesh, or heard Sea of Joy by Blind Faith, Love Hurts by Nazareth, Nessun Dorma by Puccini; pain, loss and joy/beauty simultaneously.
P.S. I reserve the right to be inconsistent in the nature of my output. 🙂