At this moment I feel defined by place. As an artist living and working on Guam I often feel isolated. Geographically isolated, but also isolated from the influence of what my peers, mentors, and influencers are achieving in a larger art world. Island existence is often used as a metaphor for the loneliness inherent in the human condition. I like to explore that kind of loneliness in my art as an investigation into the singular, or the identity of the individual or one.
My process in printmaking was informed by my location. Large sheets of linoleum, a press, paper, aren't readily available for me out here so I began carving small images and editioning them in the hundreds, sometimes thousands in order to achieve the scale I desired. Creating a larger image out of smaller carvings has inspired me to explore the philosophy of the multiple in art (Walter Benjamin’s The Work of Art In the Age of Mechanical Reproduction), its reproducibility, its lack of uniqueness, its value, and the nature of a print’s existence. This has become a microcosm of the individual’s existence for me, the way the prints begin as a formal representation and then disintegrate into abstraction.
Process and labor-heavy methods of production provide me with an objectivity and detachment. It becomes ritual. I wonder if I would feel any different standing in front of something I’ve created versus standing in front of a crop-circle. I imagine that the processes we commit over and over again reveal a desire for transformation. I think if I constantly make and build and think about making and building it could potentially make me a beautiful person. The vulnerability of this scares me, so I temper it with humor and absurdity. What if that crop-circle was a disappointing intergalactic dirty joke? I’m interested in that shared moment where we looked too long at something meaningless.
I read Albers, Goethe, Barthes, Kandinsky, Bachelard, Derrida, Danto,Vonnegut, Robbins, Marquez, to play with philosophy, rationalism, nihilism, poetry and dreaminess. The artists and art concepts I cull from are split like my theoretical interests; that which I find a technical interest in, what I’d call mundane, and that which destroys me with beauty and awe, which I feel has an almost sordid quality. I’m inspired by Goya, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Daumier, Swoon, Houdini, Vija Clemens, Morrissey, The Phaistos Disk, Kenneth Anger, Charles Atlas, Harry Smith, Duchamp, Rupaul, Beuys, David Wojnarowicz, Richter, amongst others.
There are three events which motivate my work, the fire that destroyed all my possessions, the death of my mother, and the car crash that crushed half my body. I try to take a detached and objective perspective on this too, and from my hospital bed contemplated time travel, chaos, fate, nihilism, nothingness, apophenia, and the absurd. Is the crop-circle imprinted on my soul from an alien source, is it self-inflicted, is it man-made? Color theory and language, letters, alphabets, and that which I find emblematic give me resources in which toask these questions visually. The hermetic quality of coding gives answers to the unanswerable. “Thinking the unthought does mean seeing something otherwise unseen or hearing something unheard, but such hermeneutic “clairvoyance” (as Derrida provocatively dubbed it) should not presume that it has successfully isolated the one true core of another’s thinking.”