Creative Statement - COMEDIE
As in previous bodies of work, I continue to make large scale charcoal and pastel drawings based on imagery related to personal anxieties, finding catharsis through the meditational benefits that come from the act of drawing. In addition to using observationally and/or photographically referenced source material, including insects, diapers, and trash bags, I am also exploring subjects that are suggestive of other anxieties that may illicit feelings of disgust and ecstasy simultaneously, both in a normative sense and through the contemplative space of the picture plane, such as deeply rooted human behaviors concerning sexual activity, the consumption of other animals, and notions related to non-existence or death. The inherent contrast between the potential vulgarity of the imagery and how it is meticulously rendered means to contribute to an ongoing dialogue that elevates the mundane, the ephemeral, or the grotesque to a higher status, thereby reflecting parts of the human condition that are often refused acknowledgement in the mirror of traditional norms.
This idea of a contrast or clash between high status and low status directly relates to another impetus for COMEDIE, which is to convey a certain amount of absurdity through the juxtaposition, and subsequent recontextualization, of functionally opposing imagery and text, primarily in terms of my appropriation of the nearly ubiquitous internet “meme”, often seen as a superimposed IMPACT font on visual material, found in the “fast food” of contemporary cultural humor one may consume via social media and which, upon further study, may have a more relevant influence on societal behavior than we currently understand. I find it interesting, as a fact of modern information dissemination, that viewers will primarily encounter my work, and the work of most visual artists, through digital technologies first and foremost. Therefore, by crafting and encoding an initially familiar digital language in an analog format, I leave the audience to parse the disassociation between the meanings they read online versus those they read by viewing the work in the context of a physical exhibition, and hopefully, raising more questions than answers moving forward.