My paintings are about observing and being observed. In my portraits I combine observational painting with pattern, invented color, and flattened space in order to suggest the inner life of the subject while drawing the viewer’s attention to his or her own act of looking at the painting.
I often use a rounded shape within my paintings to strengthen the viewer’s sensation of peering in or looking at a subject elliptically. I am interested in how this shape can allude to a lens or screen that brings the world closer while distancing it through a filter. I also like the visual opposition of an organic shape against a regular, rectangular support or wall.
Since 2003 my work has also explored the broader theme of the culture of spectacle and spectating that pervades contemporary life even as we seek out contemplative experiences. Another series of current work depicts museum audiences congregating along balconies and passing through modern exhibition spaces. By elevating the point of view and juxtaposing near and far space in the painting, I call attention to the viewer’s position as a spectator whose observation mirrors the subject of the paintings. As with my portraits, the museum paintings contrast closeness and distance, form and flatness, and what is seen and what is hidden as a way to explore the act of looking.