I am pleased to introduce you to our artists for 2018.
I spent my youth studying Japanese history and much of my art reflects the influences of sumi-e (a sort of monochrome watercolor). In particular, sumi-e taught me an appreciation for the expressive beauty of suggestion, lines of ink that are minimalist yet emotive. In my own work this style of painting often lent itself to a kind of raw emotiveness and it quickly became the medium in which I felt most free. Yet at the time it demanded a painstaking degree of control in order to articulate and I learned that I needed to be comfortable shifting between the careful and deliberate and the rough and violent. Truly, I think it was the juxtaposition and harmony of the two extremes that taught me to love this style of painting. Sumi-e also instilled in me the idea that artwork does not exist independently, but that it emerges in the intimate experiences of the individual viewer. For the suggestive brevity invites the viewer to imagine what is hinted at, to engage in a dynamic relationship with the art. Indeed, it is precisely the gaze of the viewer that completes a work.
I have also long had a love for fairy tales, particularly those that combined elements of the macabre with the tender and sweet. The blending of desire and fear, of pain and beauty. I remember in particular being fascinated by details such as the slippers, worn ragged from dancing, in The Twelve Dancing Princesses. I always imagined that it must have been painful to dance so much in one night and such repeated activity to me displayed a fervor, and perhaps even an enjoyment of painfully tender feet. Fairy tales such as that spoke to me on a personal level and have long influenced my artwork. I hope that my work can inspire others to see that kind of beauty in the merging of the extremities of the human experience. In tales of love and pain.