At the core of my interest as a painter is the human condition as observed in American* contemporary life. I gravitate towards white men as subjects, primarily, because I am a white man; and secondly, I have for decades been troubled with questions of masculinity and over-consumption in our society. I paint people, in general, because ultimately my concern is with society as a whole. (I also paint portraits of barnyard animals. Since childhood a part of me has had a romantic vision of life on a farm. I also paint human portraits, still lifes, and whatever I like.)

Frequently, I search for my subjects at the beach. There I find humanity fascinating. Stripped of everyday clothing and accessories–the indicators of social status and occupation–my subjects are, by choice, casually and frankly revealed. What I paint begins with what I observe that draws my interest. This includes the excesses of American life, which may be reflected by overweight individuals, at leisure or on their phones.

Generally the paintings contain a single subject or subjects, exposed and isolated in the nearly featureless landscape or color field. Mundane objects may be included or excluded for the sake of context or simply composition. One reason for a painting (as opposed to the original photographic image): the painting removes us as viewers a step further away from the experience and character of the individual and towards the universal. I don’t expect the viewer to recognize him/herself in my paintings, except in the broader sense of humanity. I intend my paintings to visually and emotionally engage the viewer and to perhaps raise questions about who we are and where we are going as Americans.

*The United States of America

updated: 8 months ago