I paint the figure as an invitation to explore the world and ourselves—our light, our shadows, our incompleteness. I’m trying to create a space for us to inhabit and give us time with questions that are not meant to be answered.
Why do you paint/draw/sculpt the male form? Early in my life, I learned that the body was shameful and that it was best to keep it under wraps. My own body was a mystery to me and the sexual magnetism of the body—both male and female—made me look away. Painting men has been a form of redemption for me. It has allowed me to love myself in some deeper ways. It’s also given me a way to explore the connection between the body—in all its earthy, sexual, badger-like muddiness—and the spiritual life. I guess it wouldn’t be giving anything away to say that I find the body and the spirit connecting in some deep ways. I hope that shows in my work.
I find the figure has an evocative energy. The face, the hands, the arms and legs have their own kind of narrative; their own sense of push and pull; of familiarity and otherness. My paintings attempt to capture this ambivalence—the recognizable features of an individual on the one hand and the skittish, wild soul on the other; the qualities which we recognize in the figure and the light around the body which we often do not.