Every piece of art you bring into your home tells a story
The perspective of the artist is one part of that story.
In Palpable Night, the central figure plays a melancholy and warning song on the piano as people dance faceless, oblivious and ignorantly blissful around her. Someone watches her from behind a newspaper across the room, ignoring his own table companion who remains half obscured, adding to the sense that his attention is elsewhere. The piano player is now herself ironically unaware of the more immediately dangers of the man behind the paper. This piece started out as one of my side canvases where I haphazardly brush on extra paint that I have left at the end of a session working on a larger canvas. Eventually it starts to take on an undeniable life on it's own and I then prioritize bringing that life out. When you look closely at Palpable Night you can see that the underlayers have a series of rhythmic white lines that guide all the other shapes - this suggests the fateful forces at play that are unseen but nontheless exert a powerful force on events that we think we have under our control.
Themes - ignorance, danger, the unknown, self-destruction, losing oneself in your work, fate, lack of control
Most of my pieces take over a year to paint, but Sleeping Jiva was brought to completion within one week. This came about from a vision I had while unwinding for sleep, about the need for constant vigilance and not getting too comfortable with the progress one has made in understanding the highest form of self. Jiva lies asleep in a blanket of Earth - initially, we can assume from this position a harmony with nature, which is a high aim. However, in the background looms a storm, symbolic of the impending discomfort from stopping too soon in ones quest for truth, because even nature is material.
Themes - materialism, Earth, vigilance, truth seeking, danger
Emerging Relative was painted in the context of a very long-distance relationship where a physical distance needed to be subservient to a close emotional connection. Two figures, one seated and one draped across the other's lap, contemplate an expanse of terrain left to cross. The eye of the distant sun flares out and illuminates the energy within the space they occupy, implying the physical as less important than the emotional. The figures are painted in distinct blocks and only at their edges do they begin to achieve a more organic form that suggests a harmony with the natural world. The confluence of opposites is achieved here; nature exists as a physical that we want to merge with, but to supersede the limitations of her we need to convene in the mind-space. This is a simultaneous rejection and desire, an inner and an outer experience. Knowing our-self well enough to recognize it in another, thus detaching from our tangible person.
Themes - harmony with nature, fate, geometry, self awareness, confluence of opposites, faith in the unknown
There is a light at the end of a long cave and we are moving sideways to it, but it is not easily that we move. There is a heave-ho resilience to the forward progress, a determination to go this way despite the unobstructed path towards the light. The light path is clearly visible to us and we choose not to go. Discipline. Making one’s own path out of duty or choice, or a choice toward duty. Maybe a duty toward responsibility, or a commitment to idealism. Any and all of these feelings had an ebb and flow around one another over the course of the six months this was painted during an extended stay in London. The figures in it, people or bird or just personified somethings, they interchange with one another the way people do in your dreams, conglomerates of each other and switching, morphic. This theme is revisited in many of my works, where characteristics rearrange themselves so that we all become more of less of each other at any given point, sometimes simultaneously. It was the real beginning of independence, motivated by a responsibility to love others fully without constraining them.
Themes - perseverance, growth, discipline, moral struggles, finding yourself within other people, delayed gratification
I had a proprioceptive vision one evening as I was falling asleep. I felt my body assume for itself the pattern of triangles and squares and simplified geometry. I was purified, fractalized into my most basic forms along with the room and it’s pieces of furniture. I felt very safe, with just the lamplight on and some midnight through the window. My self-awareness entered a very subdued state and my own mind felt long and smooth and flat. This was a seminal work in my later exploration of separating head experiences from bodily experiences, which owes a great deal to eastern mysticism.
Themes - relativity, spirituality, light, geometry, safe spaces, nurturing
The future, seen as a dark bear, reaches aggressively through a circular portal to an uncertain female figure. Behind the figure stands the figure herself again, reflected with a menacing roar and long teeth. Demonic creatures line the lower border, and a chaotic, stormy sea makes an atmospheric appearance throughout the composition. A hand reaches across the full frame to the uncertain female and holds a smoking gun to her mind, as though it is already too late. This painting was a sad, key reflection point in a long-term relationship. I was not able to look at it for a long while after I painted it, in part because I was not ready to acknowledge the truths it offered me.
Themes - relationships, denial, fear of the future