Living Histories Artist Statement

Studio research was conducted during my time spent at Art in Tuscany Residence, Study Center Association, in Arezzo, Italy. I observed how the Baroque manner of painting exaggerated a single moment through lighting and emotion. You come upon the scene midway and you’re immersed. I am interested in this use of theatrical lighting in a work, struck by the way in which a painting uses the architecture of light, how it forms the body- its plasticity. In the spaces where light contrasts, your imagination is left to explore the darkest areas.

Image research was collected through studying history first-hand along with sketching, helping to develop and build the chosen narratives for Living Histories. I often make major alterations to these images in accordance with personal preference. I pull from an individual (intimate) history to find a relationship to the subjects, sometimes casting myself and those closest to me in a myriad of thematic scenarios.

The preliminary drawings and under-paintings first serve as a cathartic experience, allowing me to evaluate raw emotions such as fear or pity. I rehash this experience in paint by exaggerating the sentiment further, making the resonance of the scenario more dramatic or haunting. Reality is increasingly skewed by imagination; fiction becomes truth.

Setting the stage for Living Histories is not solely a retelling of the past. The intent of the work relies more in presenting the viewer with parallels- marrying the beautiful and the macabre, real and imagined, solidifying the past with present.