Statement : The Object Removed

Saint Anthony tempted by the devil in the form of a womanI am very excited to share this new series as it represents a great departure from the previous directions my work has taken.  I feel these paintings to be some of the strangest images I have yet made, for the very fact of them not being strange – not overtly at least.  But I sense that they are subtly covert and they do succeed in knitting together such a great number of the disparate strands my mind has been following of late – springing from art history, literature, philosophy and theater theory among other sources. They are in a sense about the experience of experiencing a painting, and play at this by employing the most minimal means: mundane objects, irrational poses, ambiguous spaces. These new paintings, as I understand them, have something to do with time – the manipulating of time; compressing, halting, or drawing it out – through subject, application, and the implication (or lack of) depth and space.

Many of the paintings and works on paper included in this show come from a series that I am working on called “The Object Removed,” which makes direct quotations from paintings made by a number of Renaissance artists including Memling and the Master of Osservanza. Creating images based both loosely or explicitly on masterworks by these artists, I have removed the human form from what was originally either a religious painting or a portrait.  Devoid of their intended subject, the new images seem to belong to the genre of Renaissance Landscapes.  I mean this ironically as there is no such genre, all “landscape” in Renaissance painting being dependent on or subjugated to the human content.  And so even with the human forms removed these landscapes remain entirely subjective, and become projections of interior turmoil abandoned by the paintings’ previous occupants or else manifest a sense of absence or longing.

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