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artists statement

My work centers the historic and narrative threads that make art indistinguishable from human memory. I am, first and foremost, concerned with time, and the preservation of time within memory. Memory for me is best carried out within a piece, providing a record of my life and existence, but also the lives and stories of others. This is where narrative literature comes in: my art is a way to tell stories that, even if they are made up, project a feeling, a sense, that can be recognized and identified with by my viewer. I am not concerned with total realism in neither my subject nor my style. My work concedes that memory is a subjective truth–it is not always natural or rational. I explore subjects that are uncanny, haunting, or even supernatural.  Even when painting or drawing a landscape or some other non-human subject, I imagine the circumstances behind the snapshot that I capture in my work. I am attracted to the fantastical as opposed to the real; I choose subjects and situations that almost appear as fairy tales, or myths, or hauntings and other elements of the Uncanny or supernatural. My work combines illustration and narrative storytelling with the permanence and importance of painting. Painting is as holy as the myths and stories I grew up on. The sheer volume of history behind a simple brushstroke seems to almost bridge the gaps of time. I use this history as the medium behind my work–it is as crucial as the canvas, the brush, and the paints themselves. Elements of illustration and storytelling are central, but the fragility and impermanence that paper and ink provide do not satisfy that instinct to preserve. I’m further fascinated by the presentation of visual work–the frame, the placement on the wall, even the ceremony of presenting work all play into a feeling of holiness and familiarity. Art’s long and storied history is tied into framing and presentation, and marks a large part of my work. Since childhood, I have loved the way that stories and the written word communicate themes and ideas that are deeper and broader than what is explicitly written down or spoken of. As I grew up, and noticed the narratives and collective memory present in my own community, family, and even my own head, I wanted to share them with others. 


And I did. Through journalism, persuasive research papers, and creative writing and poetry, I’ve found ways to share my own perspectives and the experiences of those around me with my community. But my best way to communicate has always been and remains my visual work. Like in literature, I use visual metaphor, aspects of realism, and supernatural, gothic, and historical settings to convey an impression or sense that captures my viewer. How time is preserved in our culture and our collective memory is more absurd, more unbelievable, than the supernatural. It is this crossroad between history and personal narrative, fiction and nonfiction, realism and blurred impressions, that not only characterizes my work but informs the way I interpret the world around me. I use a variety of mediums to achieve my narrative snapshots, most significantly painting, collage, and ink drawings. I have combined one or more of the three to create work: building texture in a painting with collage and the layering of paper, or using inking techniques to shape my brushstrokes. As I said previously, I prefer the history and power behind painting to less permanent techniques, but I would like to continue utilizing multiple mediums in my work. As I move on to higher education, I will focus on cross disciplinary studies and the social and intellectual context behind art practice, which will allow me to expand my technical skill while both defining and refining my artistic exigence. Through a higher liberal arts education, I will study revolutionary art practice techniques while also immersing myself in the social importance of art and memory in an ever changing, modernizing society. 

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