Note: I recently wrote a new artist statement to be made available as a notecard to anyone interested in the origins of my work and the process by which they’re made; it was so good I thought I’d also share it with you here. (smiles)
The roots of these works are firmly planted in that period in the late 20th Century when the intellectual, philosophical and spiritual attitudes of Abstract Expressionism clashed for one brief, incendiary moment with the brash new (and openly commercial) sensibility of Pop Art. At that moment, the epic narrative of Ab-Ex was replaced with the elements of everyday life – the stuff of comics, television, magazines, etc. – and the previously “sacred” art object was taken unceremoniously from the temple and dragged out into the streets.
In the aftermath of that event, however, the art world lost its moorings and, alas, the center could not hold. Without the traditional hierarchical structure which held sway throughout most of art history, it would no longer be possible to determine the quality, value or meaning of a work of art. Western culture was lost in the wilderness of Postmodernism.
In my own work, I sidestepped this great debate by pursuing a blend of each of the earlier ideals in a separate world made possible by new media technology. I began to create works using tools which enabled me to stay just outside the artificial categories of the postmodern art world, and in these works I began to explore, sample, twist, bend and blend imagery from all times and places; all genres, all mediums and all cultures. In the mashup of these ingredients, I began to break free of the -isms of the past and simply follow my own instincts, wherever they may lead, and regardless of what they may leave behind.
The works before you are part of a series completed in that spirit during the period from 2000 to 2005, a time when I was sampling and mixing from many sources, clearly intermingling elements of high culture and pop culture – thus embodying that very fissure referenced above. Ever restless to explore new terrain, however, I entered the virtual world of Second Life in 2007, and am now up to my ears in the creation of works using SL imagery exclusively; works which will subsequently be translated into physical images and displayed in the “real” world. Art marches on.
If I had to attach a name to my work, though, I’d call it a “soul jam for the new millennium” (always wanted to paint the way Jimi Hendrix played the guitar); but no matter how you slice and dice it I’m an inveterate and unapologetic photoshoplifter, a kleptographer – or, if you prefer, a highly sophisticated scan artist, just trying my best to stay one step ahead of the law of gravity.
Above: Standing in front of my latest digital painting, entitled hello kitty, based on images of friend and model, Juliette, who has just begun to rock the metaverse.