My work is derived from photographs I take in public places resolutely lacking human presence. These include hotel and apartment lobbies, theaters, and museums; in museums, it is specifically the period rooms in which an entire chamber or suite of rooms has been transported from its original location and reconstituted in an otherwise disassociated place and time. In addition, I have photographed TV and movie sets because of the ambiguous reality they suggest. All these spaces have been arranged and organized with the intent of presenting a fictitious reality.
My work problematizes and investigates the layers and layering of artifice/presentation in these spaces. I am especially fascinated with the intellectual consequences of decontextualizing not only things, but also places, coupled with the process of layering one thing with the appearance of another, and all that such illusion and disassociation - both geographical and temporal - implies. Period rooms, for example, translate and transform social environments, a process requiring an imaginative leap on the part of the viewer willing to succumb to the experience of the artifice. My work explores the chasm over which the imagination of the viewer leaps.
Working from reproductions - the re-producing (both by my photographing and altering the photographs as well as the manufactured nature of the rooms/spaces), I emphasize their dense physicality and the quality of the light, which is generally artificial, and which adds to the transformation of the spaces. My paintings render this light as it reveals some details while obscuring others, displacing location and time for the viewer - they are simultaneously real and unreal. Working with my photographs, I create a composite image that becomes the ultimate blueprint for my paintings by digitally layering alternative views of the same space. Differing in color, hue, transparency, each new stratum retains its integrity while subtly altering the appearance of the whole and adding additional nuance. The phenomenon of layering and often mirroring is of particular interest to me because it introduces the suggestion of a temporal element, and confounds the viewer in his/her perception of what is real. The final paintings are an amalgam of contradictions, blurring the line between the real and the artificial, the dark and the light, and the banal and the transcendent. I use traditional Old Master oil painting techniques to create paintings that reference the past yet are firmly rooted in the present. Despite their seeming realism, the works are clearly the result of seeing through both an actual and a metaphorical lens. This is especially clear in the way that I treat light, which refracts, blurs, and creates auras in a way that our eyes never do, but which is a common photographic conceit.