Artist Statement 

“Our bodies are not fixed & static — they are in perpetual motion, oozing & tap dancing outside of the words that we use to confine them… I am currently occupying more space than vision & reason & logic can allow you to see. (so are you).” - Alok Vaid-Menon

 

I’m interested in this extra occupied space. the way our bodies hold millions of feelings, thoughts, and identities, extend beyond themselves, connect with one another and higher powers. How bodies are more than flesh.

 

I paint through an internal experience, particularly “inner demons”, and big, hard to articulate feelings that adults aren't allowed to express the way we were as kids. My work is about mind and body - mind as body - feeling with the body. The figures in my work are distended, flailing, emoting physically. They are externalized versions of inner experiences like anxiety, euphoria, and turmoil.

 

The biggest pursuit of my adult life so far is therapy - articulating how I feel and then feeling it, questioning learned narratives, developing empathy like a muscle. This is inherently uncomfortable. Making and looking at art makes it easier - a wordless and direct way to feel, process, discover. Painting is an exploratory activity that moves feelings through my body, and records the whole thing for others to see and feel. By externalizing my feelings and personifying them, they can exist out in the world without me and talk to people. A humanoid form gives a painting it’s own identity as an object. It turns viewing into an encounter, a communion, not just looking at an image. Eye contact aids that feeling too.

 

I operate under a similar philosophy to Abstract Expressionism. I utilize techniques like automatic drawing and paradoleia to access the subconscious mind. I paint intuitively, paying attention to what marks & color layering feel best to make. My aesthetic is moody, charged, oneiric, frenetic, imaginative. My work is most often figurative. The body, my body specifically, is the source of all my biggest questions; it’s something I reckon with every day.

 

The process of transition is deeply related to the way I make and think about my work. I was born in my subconscious and came to be through imagination, the way figures in my work twist out of the paint. The idea of “true self” as fixed, evidence-based, and visible to others needs to be challenged. Binary ideas of authenticity and legitimacy are always used against trans people. What we want to be, the self we imagine, is the most real. Paintings that have a strong presence, that feel real and raw, encourage us to meet them with the same rawness. Or somehow, we feel they can see our inner selves - not the identity extrapolated from the external, but the one that exists and is created inside.