I paint highly rendered, realistic portraits of people that I meet on the fringes of society. Be it in bars, on the street, or through word of mouth I try to find subjects that represent a life lived outside of the typically accepted parameters of civilization and perceptions of beauty.
I paint these humans to try to understand for myself what it means to be a human and to attempt to answer the unanswerable question of why we are here. With oil paints made from the same mud and earth that we come from, I try to render and squeeze out every drop of detail in each of the subject’s features - wrinkles, scars, blemishes and all. Incorporated in each composition are brazen or cheeky symbols and metaphors in the form of objects, animals, text and imagery to further story tell. The intent being to articulate the idea that even though we face the terrifying thought that we may be just one, sometimes seemingly pointless member of a multitude of billions and billions of people that have walked this planet, we are each still a specific and unique individual. The act of painting a portrait thus asserts the subject’s importance and place in this world, and by proxy, our importance and place in this world. Especially when the people being painted are not the wealthy, famous or prominent members of the multitudes that are typically depicted in portraiture.
Basically, though we will never know why we are really here, painting allows us to shout, “I am here!”