William de Kooning once stated, “Flesh is the reason oil paint was invented.” Oil paint is best suited to convey the carnal properties of flesh. It creates a physical membrane, a means of skin depicting skin, that symbolizes what lies beneath the exterior and documents a subject’s persona. My interest in making paintings stemmed from my fascination with the oil painted self. The notion of the oil painted self has a corporeal quality – it creates a physical presence within the piece; a quality I discovered that cannot be achieved through the use of photography. Through the use of a palpable medium, I am able to highlight the volatility of both the physical and psychological pathologies of the self – as a projection of emotions, memories, and vulnerabilities between the body and the world.
The purpose of my work is to transcend the notion of the self and the physicality of paint, resonating from vulnerable and personal experiences, as a means of conveying life as it blooms or decays from within. Expressing that awareness of the self and reflecting to the viewer establishes a relationship between themselves and myself – creating a human connection resonating from unspoken, personal experiences. My works are confrontational, yet, intimate and personal – using the painted surface as a trope for the physical and psychological presence between the inner self and external viewer.