Sunday, July 31, 2016

Leap Year

Leap Year 2016 oil on canvas 24" x 18"

The residue left in an artist's studio space serves as a reminder of impermanence. I have to find comfort in life's constant state of flux – change is the only constant, and sometimes dust is the only reminder we have of what was. Everything is liminal. The dust is also a marker of ephemerality and the hope that springs from nostalgia and memory. One of the most enlightening books I read last year was a little paperback called Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets, and Philosophers. The Japanese term wabi-sabi, among other things, emphasizes the beauty of the imperfect, the impermanent, and the incomplete. It suggests that the universe is in constant motion towards or away from potential. It is in empty space – in nothingness, that this potential energy resides. Nothingness and emptiness are not synonyms. It is possible to be both absent and present. 

There is a marvelous Dizzy Gillespie quote that I think about often in the studio: “it’s taken all my life to learn what not to play.” 

I think about my recent interior paintings as portraits. They are moments in time: the light, the dust, the particular tilt of that loose phone jack, are all frozen in a split second slice. One singular, unique, beautiful second. Blink and you'll miss it. Simultaneously, they are the accumulation of time: multiple painting sessions layered over and over, ever trying and ever failing to capture the elusive "now". They are portraits of place, imbued with both the power and the burden of memory. 

"Painting is the silence of thought and the music of sight." - Orhan Pamuk. My Name is Red. I believe that images can speak where words fail. I want my paintings to sing for me, to say the things my voice cannot.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Studio, July

New things are cooking in the studio! Can't wait to share them with you. 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Horror Vacui Artist Talk

Friday was the closing reception for Horror Vacui, my two-person exhibition with Adrian Cox. Adrian is one of my favorite contemporary painters, and I'm thrilled to be showing alongside him. We gave a fun artist talk during the reception, in which we discussed our shared interests in beauty, the baroque, and betweenness. 

Thanks to everyone who came! And thanks to Sergio Gomez for selecting our exhibition proposal, and for generously exhibiting our work in his gallery for the past two months. 

Horror Vacui: June 17 - July 29, 2016
Art NXT Level Projects
Zhou B Art Center, 4th Floor
1029 W 35th Street
Chicago, IL

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Elmhurst Art Museum: NAP Midwest Edition

On Saturday I gave an artist talk at the Elmhurst Art Museum, accompanying the New American Paintings: Midwest Edition show. I spoke alongside the wonderful (and very funny) Deb Sokolow. I've been a fan of her work for years. It's an honor to be in this show and NAP #119 with her, and it was an absolute pleasure listening to her speak about her current work.

Pair 2014 oil on canvas 30" x 30"

photo credit: Lisa Haring

photo credit: Lisa Haring

Deb Sokolow (left) and me, aka "the curly haired crew"

Deb Sokolow, Emotional tensions within the compound must be alleviated, 2015
Graphite, crayon, colored pencil, acrylic, and collage on paper
Courtesy of the artist and Western Exhibitions

Deb Sokolow, On the Subject of Closets, 2015
Graphite, acrylic, and collage on paper
Courtesy of the artist and Western Exhibitions

To see more of Deb Sokolow's work, visit her website here:
And don't miss her upcoming show at Western Exhibitions in September!