Tourist 2002-2014

For the past fifteen years, I’ve painted images from my travels–mostly opulent European historic interiors, which I visit firsthand and photograph extensively. Constructed as theatrical displays of status and power for wealthy aristocrats and bourgeoisie, these formerly private sites are now museums, providing a space for philosophical contemplation and touristic consumption. I sometimes crash these spaces with freeway traffic, construction sites, and nature parks,  playfully commenting on the yearnings and contradictions of contemporary life.

Although I use photography as a structural device through which I enter the painting process, with each piece I always seem to arrive at a point of crisis where I need to break free from the tyranny of the image. Through partly destroying the image I discover fresh solutions to painterly problems I set for myself.

Throughout my childhood and into my mid-twenties, I was a ballet dancer. That intense training of spatial awareness and interpretive questioning is still deeply stamped in my DNA. A painting to me is a kind of choreography; there’s a haptic dance that takes place from my optical experience of an image, through to the way my nervous system signals to my body how to translate and record it. As painter/dancer I tease out meaning through working and reworking, coming up to speed as I gain understanding, and making the last strikes with absolute commitment.