Holding Out For A Hero

June 1 - July 1, 2018

GoggleWorks Center for the Arts (Reading, PA)

My work conveys a grandiose narrative that operates analogously to ancient legends. The focus on heroism provides an entry point to the cult of masculinity. The hero is the perfect example of humanity in terms of both strength and beauty. Echoing these classic forms, my work highlights the impossibility of obtaining this otherworldly level of perfection. Notions of competition accompany this fetishization of the hero. It is visually emphasized through grid and square structures- allusions to game boards, checkered flags, and pixels. This evokes associations with the early days of computer imagery; strangely flat yet slightly three-dimensional graphics establish the basis for my formal language.

Through these images I construct portals to a mythical dimension. They are not necessarily accessible to the viewer, but serve as evidence of an idyllic paradise. The black squares deliberately eliminating parts of the landscape as if a visual representation of an unclear memory. Color gradients act as surrogates for tropical settings, sunsets, and seascapes. They serve as postcards from an archaic journey that may or may not have been experienced.

The core of my conceptual practice concerns itself with notions of intimacy. Longing and desire are among the most common tropes illustrated in ancient mythology. My paintings’ subject matter is heavily concerned with this emotive action. The navigation of desire, specifically in terms of the queer male, is the main narrative arc I employ. Each work serves as a visual manifestation of an imprisoning emotional state, ending in either triumph or pain. The paintings dismantle our society’s disaffinity towards male intimacy and celebrate a tender masculinity. Through the dissection of these various systems, I examine their significances and then recreate them to tell queer, often untold, stories.