I am most interested in the moments in which even the most expertly crafted paintings begin to fall apart. You see it in the puckered corners of Warhol’s massive diamond dust paintings; in the black stains of Al Held’s color fields, and in the tremulous lines of Frank Stella’s early shaped works. For me, these moments are revelations—real imprints of quiet humanity, tiny failures that make even the most monumental and heroic paintings seem flimsy, vulnerable, even sad.
My work takes these notions of weakness as an abstract painter and connects them to my own personal feelings of inadequacy and self-consciousness as a gay man. To that end, I recycle standard tropes of abstraction. Hard edged geometry, super-saturated color gradients, bold stripes, and thick bands of impastoed paint are isolated onto studio-beaten canvas, and embedded with pieces of contemporary culture like fragments of typography, nonsensical doodles, and titles culled from hip-hop lyrics. These mash-ups of intentionally flawed modes of studio production, cool minimalism, and strands of popular culture are meant to challenge the status of contemporary painting as much as embrace it.
The finished paintings are at once pieces of cultural detritus as well as documents of my own uneasiness: images that conflate definitions of success and failure, chance and contrivance, aloofness and emotional unraveling.