Transmographic Arrangements at Dubuque Museum of Art November 18, 2016 - February 5, 2017
With my paintings I strive for balance; bringing elements of mortality, transience, fragility, and vulnerability in tune with beauty, design, and humor. The process is very important to me and melding observation, technique, and imagination is a challenging and rewarding pursuit. Although classically trained in figurative art, my paintings deal with issues of humanity through other biological surrogates. The natural world has piqued my curiosity and as a result I am surrounded in the studio by remnants of life: taxidermy, bones, specimens and oddities. Throughout the last decade my work has largely centered around animals and insects. The paintings have evolved, and the current work centers on insects morphing into floral forms. The result is purposefully referential to the long history of floral still life painting with primary focus on the dutch tradition (Jan Brueghel, de Heem, van der Ast, and Ruysch), but also combines my interest in the masters of the strange and unorthodox (the likes of Bosch, Peter Brueghel, Grünewald, Caravaggio, and Archimboldo). I work to reinterpret the floral theme using non-traditional means; most obviously with insects as flowers, but also through canvas shape, lighting, evocation of movement, transparency, impermanence in forms, and ultimately taking liberty with reality through realistic painting. In many different ways, the paintings transform the traditional floral still life into something slightly bizarre and unexpected, encouraging a reexamination of life and death, the fluidity of what we know, and how we define beauty.