In the years preceding the pandemic, I made dimensional paintings that took the form of irregular, concave domes and rock-like forms. Object, color, and image worked together to skew the viewer’s perception of space. I began this body of work in 2017 after photographing the sites where synagogues once stood in Vienna and the hospital where my stepfather succumbed to cancer. In this work, I paired objects with spaces from these photographs and others including images of my student’s artwork and idiosyncratic objects and architectural fragments I noticed as I went about my daily life. Navigating the world around me became a treasure hunt.

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic shut down, new studio routines and directions emerged. In those early days I made charcoal drawings of friends and family from video calls. In the years since drawing these, I have recognized a power in making the autobiographical subtext present in my work more specific and public, part of a larger cultural paradigm shift. We all have become acclimated to the casual revealing of the personal in the public sphere – a symptom of a global collective experience.

My recent work depicts individuals, both living and deceased, with whom I have had meaningful relationships. I paint them on 18x24” panels in a sea of radiant gestures which become camouflage-like patterns. Their likenesses sit just outside of recognizability, not quite ready to be discerned, much like in earlier work. The scale is almost a non-scale – a generic size, omnipresent in art school, allowing the ordinarily highly physical nature of my work to fall away in favor of the image and marks. I began this project as I started my journey to seek parenthood. Along the way I have contemplated gratitude, disappointment, rebirth: life’s punctuations. These paintings are memorials and small monuments to these people and experiences.

Parallel to this project are portraits on paper made from screenshots taken from my virtual town-square, Instagram, painted with layers of cyan, magenta and yellow drawing ink. The nature of this process requires a careful game of strategy and enjoyment involving chance and accident. Taking cues from digital and mechanical reproduction, my method is an analog one, converting a digital color space (RGB) to a physical one (CMY), making immaterial digital images material. These paintings are a platform to negotiate private selves placed in the public domain.

In my paintings, color and image detail an unfolding autobiographical set of life events. Striking a balance between obfuscation and specificity, though framed by my experience, the works are touchstones for viewers to consider their own personal and collective histories or simply keep their eyes focused while their minds untangle.