Grid (2010)


Artist's Statement

The subjects for these works are things which hold a fascination for me, namely mountains, rough, rocky, rugged, elemental mountains, and skyscrapers, those beautiful and ugly steel, concrete and glass colossi which bestride our consciousness, perhaps replacing in our psyche the Gothic cathedrals that dominated the skylines of cities in the past.


Mountains and buildings are made of the same stuff. Or rather, humans, by using their intellect, have fashioned their world and created their civilization by taking from what they find around them. Man in his hubris exploits the earth, and sets himself up in opposition to it. However, the earth fights back. From The Origin of the Work of Art by Martin Heidegger:


"Earth ... shatters every attempt to penetrate it. It causes every merely calculating importunity upon it to turn into a destruction.  This destruction may herald itself under the appearance of mastery and of progress in the form of technical-scientific objectification of nature, but this mastery nevertheless remains an impotence of will."


Thus the present work is situated at an interface between man and nature, an uneasy, confined and claustrophobic space where the friction between these two is irreconcilable. It is a relationship of strife and struggle, there is no meeting point, they are in opposition to one another, yet they are never separated. They are essentially different from one another, yet there is this paradox that they are part of each other.


An awareness of the opposites is necessary for the comprehension and articulation of ideas and things. Ideas and things exist in contradistinction to one another. The separation into opposites creates a space for cognition between the object and it's opposite. Separating the opposites brings clarity, but making the opposites visible also creates conflict.


I do not make the paintings because I am preoccupied with the above ideas and concepts. Rather the paintings are a response to the emotional power that the subjects hold over me. The choice of the subjects is irrational and involuntary, they simply force themselves upon you and demand to be put into the paintings. The possible meanings of the paintings come afterward. One can theorize at length and fruitfully about meaning, but there are always aspects that will not yield to such articulation. Essentially the language of painting does not speak in words.