What is it that brings your heart and my heart together? And what is it that parts them?
— Natsume Sōseki

When we think about other people we don’t view them as isolated entities. We see them

in the context of their background, friends and/or significant others. Or to put it another way, we

tend to perceive an amalgam of those whom they associate with by circumstance and those

whom they associate with by choice. The process of getting to know someone is sorting through

their influences. These emotional—and sometimes even physical—bonds are for the most part

left unspoken. I think this is where the nature of the self is poetic. At the same time we imagine

we unilaterally determine the context others will view us through. In reality the expectations of

those we interact with—whether congruent to reality or not—shape our identity.


My work explores how the fluidity of relationships exacerbates this ambiguity. In it I

employ dark humor to express the fallout caused by failed expectations but also how the

fetishization of a relationship—in and of itself—often creates emotional deformity. Is this why,

when we have the agency to deal directly with relationship problems, we so routinely choose to

let things fall apart? The impact of that can overwhelm our lives. In order to depict that I

decided to grapple with canvases that dwarf me—some nearly 8 feet in size. They are like vivid

memories which I compulsively summon but then feel revulsion for. The broad brush strokes

echo the vibrancy of the sources from which their titles are derived: Iggy Pop, Nina Simone, and

Raymond Chandler.


Overall, these paintings are impressions of moments of all the relationships I have

experienced in film, music, literature and other artwork, including of course my own. Dualities

of human relationships and identity are explored. There’s cartoon violence, fleeting thoughts of

guilt, and most of all layer upon layer of misperception.