I am currently working on the series, A Wasp in a Wig. The title is referring to the chapter written by Lewis Carroll for the Through the Looking Glass book, but was removed at the suggestion of the illustrator, John Tenniel. My images are inspired Carroll’s original text, but like the Wasp, include situations that could exist in Wonderland, but did not make it into the book. I also use his iconic characters to continue his exploration of topics like personal identity, curiosity/imagination, and social structures.
Some of the work was displayed in Los Angeles at The Hive Gallery and Studios in March 2011.
With my paintings, I create narratives about obsession, duality and containment to explore the differences between being in-and-out of control. Containment is revealed through locations with physical barriers, but it can also be addressed through the emotional or psychological condition of the individuals. Obsession can be seen in the multitude of details, or in the characters that are fixated with an object or idea. I attempt to find a balance between contrasting concepts, such as control vs. chaos, attraction vs. repulsion, etc.
I find these worlds through an oblique path, beginning with an idea and then wandering my way into the finished piece through multiple layers of color and patterns. Each layer adds to the complexity of the puzzle, and in turn reveals another part of the puzzle differently, affecting the final piece. This kind of revelation and exploration takes time, often with changes in composition and color, but the process uncovers a more complex and satisfying narrative than first glimpsed in that original idea.
I enjoy the process of creating a completely new environment in each painting, complete with new rules about interactions and colors. The aesthetic involves a contrast of overlapping vintage and modern design elements and untraditional paint choices, such as metallic, fluorescent and interference colors. This subtle psychedelic presentation misdirects the viewer from immediately focusing on the issues presented, therefore adding to the harmony and tension in the narrative.