Form & Substance

:: My artwork examines the breadth of metaphoric meaning that can be derived from non-objective abstraction, especially psychological and social content. Through mixed media paintings, drawings and prints, I make paradoxical concepts tangible with formal elements, such as the repeated use of the color black, which acts as both presence and absence, simultaneously weighted and ephemeral.

I value the associative power of abstract images for their capacity to suggest complex ideas with basic shapes and colors. Black’s strong correlation with solemnity, mystery and race is an evocative visual tool. A spot of darkness can radically influence a field of white, yet at the same time, be utterly isolated from it. The contrast of opposites attracts and repels. I see obvious parallels in the way people interact across cultural difference, which in turn drives the graphic nature of my compositions.

While avoiding overtly didactic messages, my work remains rooted in personal narrative through a connection to my mixed race heritage. A sense of otherness and hybridity is persistent and that combination marks the materials as well as the content I explore. Working with a variety of substances — charcoal, graphite, beeswax, oil and ink on paper or wood — asymmetrical relationships of surface, scale and tone have veiled yet potent connotations. As author and social critic James Baldwin wrote, “The artistic image is not intended to represent the thing itself, but, rather, the reality of the force the thing contains.” ::