Beyond the Pleasure Principle Artist Statement

“Beyond the Pleasure Principle” explores both the physical presence of the figure and what lies beneath the surface psychologically--the internal and external worlds of human existence. The paintings are often allegorical, staged as an intersection between fantasy and everyday life. With dramatic style and lighting, the desire is to evoke emotional states in the viewer through richly saturated color, the fugue-like gaze of the subject, and richly rendered flesh tones.

Assuming the roles of both director and actor in the scene, the artist navigates many of the psychoanalytic theories posited by Sigmund Freud in his essay of the same name. Framed in the proscenium of the canvas edges, this work presents the Freudian inner struggle between two opposing drives: Eros, the producer of creativity, sexual connection, and self-preservation; and Thanatos, which brings aggression, compulsion, and self-destruction.