The Forget Me Nots exhibition explores a short story I’m writing concerning the epic adventures of a wayward traveler from contemporary times. The works in this exhibition are the results of many months of writing, which began in March of this year and is currently an ongoing part of my practice. The writing and the art making truly work hand and hand. I was able to create these works of art in a seven month stretch that was an explosion of work.
The main character of my story stumbles upon exotic and abstract lands, one being the land of the forget me nots. He finds this unfamiliar place to be particularly beautiful and decides to delay his travels temporarily, mostly due to a disheveled garden that silently cries out to the legacy of his ancestry. He lays eyes on these plants and has an understanding for the depths that stain their surface because he is stained in a similar fashion. He experiences a true moment of empathy.
The plantlike species that he discovers is figurative and complex in form. The anatomy of the plants is a plexus of distorted shapes and lines that unite to give each character a sense of strength, will, and rebellion, which is amplified by their unapologetic uniqueness. Visually they resemble elements from African and native vignettes that have been mashed together meticulously to form compositions of orderly disorder. These plants are scarred and weathered from the trials of their environment and my main character is attracted to their will to survive and thrive in the worst of circumstances. Instead of walking away and journeying forward he assumes the role of caretaker and the mysteries of the garden soon unravel.
My studio practice has always been three fold: defining what mastery of the formal elements of art means to me, pushing the limits of my creativity by diversifying my studio practice to be truly interdisciplinary, and attempting to maximize the power of the images, icons, and symbols I create to comment on my experiences to build a nexus to a larger historical conversation.
Firstly it my hopes that the viewer looks at my work and can appreciate my commitment to my studio practice and story. Secondly it is my hopes that the viewer leaves with a sense for the things I love and respect dearly. My goal is to combine my love for the graphic arts, literary epics, and the history of painting that did not turn its back on the plights of society. I believe strongly that images have a power to promote change and that we as artist create because we are unhappy with what we are seeing in the journeys of our lives.
In closing, art that portrays a fair and honest depiction of the world we live in, with all its imperfections, trumps art that is made with the sole purpose of aesthetic beauty and art that is made for intellectual banter. I believe that as an image maker I also carry the responsibility of being a visual historian. I create art that I hope can inspire change by starting conversations by subversively and confrontationally addressing important social topics. If I looked around at the world and it was all roses and sunshine I would portray those images. For me to have a clear conscience I cannot offer visual diversions when I know that imagery is still the most powerful tool we have to defeat what plagues our society.