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Each painting in my recent Through the Veil series begins with a rendering from a closely observed fabric with wrinkles and folds. They recapitulate the compositional structure of a painting/drawing by artists from the past and present. The fabric in these paintings acts as a limen or threshold that places the viewer into multiple, often conflicting, layers of space and meaning. In the series the Rabbit or environment may be stretched or manipulated through Photoshop to create a sense of instability, heightened emotion, or a digital sifting. The paintings good-humoredly deconstruct imagery from pop, outsider, and high culture to create new “spaces” of meaning. The shape-shifting Rabbit is positioned in front of or behind; it looks into, out, around or between images and spaces. The paintings use dark humor, visual puns, symbols and metaphors, moments of silence, art historical allusions, cultural collisions, and spiritual conundrums to play with style and pictorial/formal construction.
The title for the series, Through the Veil, alludes to Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, and I plan to continue the series with new adventures. Filtered through a kind of ubi sunt (a feeling of loss or of valuing things or times lost), Through the Veil challenges and plays with simultaneous memento mori and carpe diem versions of itself. The product lies on the crease of representation and abstraction and conceptualizes and dissolves boundaries, folding, refolding, and unfolding a fabric of interchangeability, a skin revealing in its folds other skins.