Thursday, August 04, 2005

Artist Statement

I’ve come back to my first art form: Cartooning. I am using it in paintings to fulfill my need to express basic feelings of inner conflict. Cartooning is a language. Simple gestures can represent large amounts of information. It is the language of contradiction and conflict.

Conflict comes from seeing artificial distinctions between things rather than seeing them as a continuous whole. Artificial distinctions are like the lines that separate shapes in cartoons, or like the stereotypes that cartoons often depict.

I’ve chosen to use anthropomorphized animals, heavily laden with cultural associations, to inhabit my paintings. These characters then come into conflict with their expected roles. In the fable-like scenes, they are often frustrated in their attempts to assert their own identities. The spaces become claustrophobic. The perspective twists. Colors slam through the paintings bleeding and pulsing. The surface is meant to look as if it is unraveling.

Part of the promise of cartooning is that it can show complex situations in simple terms and in that way it allows us to step back and laugh at our fears and realize that things aren’t that bad.

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