Sometimes what we fear is not apparent. Perhaps we should fear what we control, rather than what we cannot control. Dependency is the code of extinction.
I moved to Texas in the summer of 2016, and began to notice how fear and violence seemed to escalate their presence in my everyday life. This of course was nothing new, but being in a new place heightened my senses. My first day on the job marked the beginning of (concealed) guns being allowed on the campuses of state universities in Texas. Ironically, Apple Corporation permanently banned the gun Emoji from its mobile/smart products around the same time.
Since then, an abundance of other media information, from home and around the world, has (re) populated my consciousness and become present in the body of work titled Color Coded: the prosecution of LGBT people, the rise of Fascism and public Supremacist protests and expressions, natural and man-made disasters, a controversial painting of Emmett Till in New York City, the eternal debate on who has the right/privilege for proper and affordable Healthcare and medication, a man’s haircut that keeps subverting itself, Anti-Semitic vandalism on college campuses, Black Lives Matters movement still being misunderstood, and a dystopian near-future and popular fictional-but-perhaps-prophetic television show, to mention a few.
It is sad to note that some works completed months/years ago have become timely relevant again, due to recent events in Las Vegas, Puerto Rico, and even the NFL, and the ever-present school shootings with no response from the powers that be. This is because they are not new, but cyclical, and will most likely happen again. What may have changed is how they are used to affect popular consciousness. What can that alone affect change?
As such, I have focused on creating an imaginary space where I try to make sense of conflicting ideas, their intersections and frictions, rather than present them as documentary facts. While my position is not neutral, I do not aim to speak for anyone else, impose my viewpoint, or claim having knowledge of an all-encompassing truth.
I employ my resemblance in these works, although I do not consider them to be self-portraits. The work does not aim to elucidate who I am as a person, but rather provide an insight into circumstances surrounding a bodily presence like mine. I see my representation as similar to that of an actor, who embodies larger external narratives at different stages in time. While the original impetus for the work comes from my personal experiences, this work is not autobiographical. I believe artists themselves are mediums, much like antennas, or converging points. We simultaneously receive and transmit information. We function like a screen, a filter, a sieve, and translate these stimulations into art. By presenting a constant depiction of a body I hope to indicate that anyone can play a role in these situations or be affected by them.
Last but not least, I utilize color schemes to both title the individual pieces and dominate their visual composition. Colors are said to evoke emotions and reactions from people, although I do not believe them to be universally understood; different cultures might have different and even opposing meaning assigned to a given color. At face value they stand for something rather simple. Through the layering of these colors with repetitive symbols, unexpected resonances may arise. I relate meaning to these colors and compositional elements, but understand viewers will overlay their own interpretation onto my work. This should engender broad interest and perhaps foster dialogue.
All images on this page document works that measure 30"x40", of laser- etchings and mixed media, on panel.