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Why is that figure sitting in the dark with a bowl of fish, and why is that sink glowing like radioactive waste? This body of work is a collection of contemporary portraiture driven by extreme color and value contrasts used to alter the appearance and mood of the figure. I find my paintings before I paint them. I collect locations, props, and people to stage an image that triggers a strong yet intangible response. I allow color to drive the compositions, but often look to incorporate items that can become the light source; I am always looking for interesting shadows and color combinations before working with the model to capture their gaze. The painting process is an exercise in technique for me. I balance highly rendered moments of sharpness with soft, subtle backgrounds.  While my paintings are not expressive with brushwork or paint application, they are expressive through their elaborate set ups, intense light, and vibrant color.

Through all my paintings, I’ve roped my closest friends into modeling. It’s a constant conversation of “What if we try this?” and “What if I do that?” I would never ask a stranger to lie on the grimy sink of the school bathroom, but my friend lay there until I could capture the exact moment I needed. Though it may not show through to anyone who looks at them, these paintings have helped me to reconnect and appreciate the people in my life and their willingness to collaborate with me. These paintings were never meant to be a grand display of friendship; they are formalist in nature. But I cannot overlook the love for these people and how my relationships with them have influenced and driven this series.


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