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Human Rights

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The series human rights is different from all the work that has come before, yet it is simultaneously a culmination of that which preceded it. Painted on dark, rich backgrounds, the faces and bodies are shown as if emerging from the darkness.  It is not intended to speak directly to human rights in the modern, political sense, but rather it begs the viewer to think of the ideas of the human body as a source of Power, particular energy, radiance, and inherent complexity. this work speaks from a place of survival. The bright lights on darkened surfaces call forth the dichotomy of both hope and despair, which goes far beyond life today and extends itself to the entire history of the human condition. Shown without any contextualizing clothing or hair, these figures do not belong to any era; they float in the darkness, a beacon of light and, simultaneously, a reminder of that which is lost

The finger marks are clear in the form of the figures and the shadows surrounding them. This personal touch draws a poignant trace of personalism and specificity into an otherwise hauntingly ambiguous work. this work addresses all of humanity -- this is not a mystical otherworld, it is drawn from a reality, and because it is my reality, it is my truth. This realization of the viewer is the final piece to the enigmatic puzzle of this work: It is the human condition to create, it is the human struggle to be polarized, but it is the human right to speak ones truth. to survive.

Today, I give homage to Elie Wiesel, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with human rights. Who fought for peace, human rights and simple human decency. 

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Drawings

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My drawings have always mattered to me. Their simplicity helps me to internally understand what is going on behind the marks, to understand process. And it is the process of making art that fascinates me most. The process begins with recognition, a trust in recognition. I first begin to make marks, varying pressures and tones—just drawing. If then I persevere, I see something personal, a clue, something that I recognize, and something that feels familiar and resonates unlike any other work I have seen before.

I leave the drawing alone. I leave the studio. I come back and spend time with it, getting to know it better. If it still surprises, I then look for more clues. Content begins to make itself known to me. The process becomes a communal experience. The drawing is giving me information: how to proceed and where to go. I am not interested in intellectual concepts. The work has to be experiential. I try to take significant moments in my life and draw them in a believable way. These drawings are pared down, just using mixed media.

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Giacometti to Ground 0

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Sometimes I forget to breath. When I become aware of this, I take deep breaths, I try to remember. I have tried to pay attention, when this happens, why it happens, and then I forget again. Philip Guston consoled Painters "to live without consolation, to keep their eyes wide open, and to not look away." The studio is a place to sit with things, there is work to be done. There is a lot to sit with. I had been in my studio far too long. Solitude, my best and worst friend. The Museum of Modern Art was having an exhibit of Alberto Giacometti's works. That was a good reason to leave the studio and possible going to the World Trade Center Site. Maybe not. Had it become a tourist attraction? The Giacometti show was astounding. There weren't many people in the museum that day., two days after 9/11. I felt privileged to be there. It had the intimacy and directness of a studio visit. A primitive simplicity. Gallery through gallery his work sang. I listen to the compassion for man kind. his life's work. To see all the works together, so powerful, but vulnerable. After spending two days at the museum, long forgotten words entered my thoughts. "Don't seek what your sage's found, seek what they sought." Giacometti had left a trail. Trusting my instincts, I went to the museum of African Art Bamana and the Art of Existence of Mali, ancestral tribal images, so majestic, which we had inherited? The conflict I originally had of going to Ground 0 no longer existed. Now it was necessary. A place to pay respect. Pockets brimming with tissues, I would not need them. I felt detached. Closer and closer, I wanted to feel something, beside the numbness. The magnitude of this hate was too much to comprehend. At some point a relationship between the art and the tragedy impacted me, all came out of the vulnerability. The primitive in all of us had surfaced. Not contaied behind the guarded museum walls. I am not sure what I came away with but questions. What does it mean to be human? It was time to return to solitude of the studio, and remember to breath.

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