Selected paintings from collections created between 1999 to Present
Abstract painting has always been the escape pod for me. When I started painting I had barely considered it, but in retrospect, it was a large part of my overall aesthetic. The new abstract works are the closest I’ve come in recent years to one of the purest reasons for my descent into painting in the first place. Application of paint. Making marks. Where meaning is buried.
The payphone, deep rooted and permanent, connected people who may not have otherwise been able to have a phone of their own. It was a link to a vast social network. Past movie stars’ history include the payphone booth as their office; careers launched by using the public phone to their advantage. As a kid, this was the last place you stopped before calling home for a ride. When I moved to Toronto, the payphone was my link to the past and my future. Eventually, a pocket size phone would replace it and then a hand held computer. Now we make calls as if acting out a scene from Star Trek via FaceTime or Skype. When I see a payphone, it is still science fiction. It is a time machine by way of memory.
Nostalgia is a powerful operator. I feel it everywhere. When I see new things, I reminisce of the old. When I see old things, I consider of how they have changed. I am not living in the past, as much as I am fascinated with the passing of time, age and the resilience of memories and the part they play in developing our perception of the world around us. Mall Rides were an escape into a realm of fantastic possibilities. I was a cowboy in front of the Overwaitea Grocery Store, an astronaut or race car driver inside the mall.
I began planning a small series of billboard inspired paintings a week after moving to Guatemala City. After 2 years, I had dozens of pieces in my Guatemalan studio, and dozens more finding their way into galleries in Canada. Five years on, with nearly 200 pieces on the subject I finally laid the series to rest with a small show at a bright space aptly named Communication Gallery. I still can’t help painting a billboard here and there.
I love air travel. After moving to Toronto from Vancouver, I spent a some quiet time on airplanes – often alone. While living in Central America, my flight time increased in a short amount of time. I became consumed with everything to do with airports and airplanes and how we thought about them. It was magical. Giant vessels lifted into the air, filling our skies with people essentially in a philosophical form of time travel. Once a luxury, air travel quickly gained traction as one of the leading methods of transportation for everybody. We took it for granted until we were forced to pay very close attention to it. Everything changed. Suddenly, what once was pedestrian became synonymous with inconvenience and sometimes, sinister. My work plays on childhood wonder and modern fear.
We depend on them for so much that make up our everyday lives, yet we forget that they are there. Orbiting the earth at 26,000 km/h, satellites keep us connected to our favorite television programs and to each other. They are also doing a pretty efficient job of keeping an eye on us. Designed by us. Defined by us. Satellites are god.
Everything I love about painting starts with figurative. My work came close to personal satisfaction sometime between 1999 and 2001. I forgot where I left the bread crumbs. Everything after that has been a lonely, frustrating examination of where I thought I had wanted to go, where I may have been going, and where I actually was – though not without the occasional direct hit. I am continuously planning the strategic exit from the wilderness in hopes of finally seeing what I only barely glimpsed with pieces like “When She Sleeps”.