artist statement

 

 

Wittgenstein wrote „the work of art is the object seen sub specie aeternitatis; and the good life is the world seen sub specie aeternitatis. This is the connection between art and ethics“.

I hope that when looking at my work people see something of themselves looking back at them – sub specie aeternitatis.

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Every day my emotional life plays out on my skin. Some days my skin leaves me in peace; other days it drives me so mad I want to tear it to pieces. Sometimes I do just that.  I wear gloves when I wash the brushes after a painting session.


My skin gives a clue as to my state of health and my state of mind. It is a window into my soul. I wear my heart not on my sleeve but on my skin. I am an artist. I paint on skin.


I place a wooden stretcher over a piece of raw canvas with just enough of the fabric to wrap around the stretcher.
Then I fire a hail of staples into the fabric until the canvas is pulled taut in all directions, as tight as a drumhead and with all the dignity of a Patagonian lamb *al asador*.


The untreated canvas is then sealed with acrylic primer to make it waterproof. When the final coat of primer has dried I apply at least four coats of white gesso to the canvas, each coat needing several hours to dry.


Now the stretched canvas is ready to receive oil paint: its surface a rough and chalky white, mapped with lesions of erratic brush strokes, scars of the gesso ground unevenly applied, with the occasional lump of dried gesso paint like so many pock marks.


The canvas is now a proxy for my skin: stretched on the rack of memory and ready to bear witness to my soul.