Fundamentally my project is to create a kind of alternative-reality-world where the various elements of our own time are given free range to merge and collide like the samples in a hip-hop record. These pieces come from all over but the most insistent have lodged in my gut for some time and are now, for better or worse, part of me. Over the past several years I have begun painting buildings that I find particularly evocative, that are somehow a symbol of something. I am fixated on the idea of utopia, especially a utopia that grows up unnoticed in the cracks of the dominant culture (a “punk utopia”—X and the Minutemen in Hollywood). This is not a utopia like Le Corbusier’s which seeks to replace the messiness of life with something perfect, but rather one which grows out of that very messiness; which does not attempt to resolve all contradictions but uses them (and the friction they create) as a kind of motor to push into something a little bit better. Nature and landscape remain key touchstones for me--in part determined by culture, but also transcending it.
Mostly, I work automatically like the surrealists and the abstract expressionists--that is I begin without any preconceived plan, laying in colors and lines and, increasingly, pieces of collage. At some point this infrastructure suggests an image, sometimes a single form against a fairly simple ground, sometimes more what I would call a "landscape." If this first image is lacking, I paint over it or rub it out. Most pictures go thru several revisions before they are "finished" and occasionally this finishing involves imposing a found image. Above all, I want to have absolute freedom in this process, letting each picture tell me where it should go . The end result is a group of pictures with many family characteristics but also a variety of styles. There are many "borrowings" in my works, many memories of paintings that I unconsciously draw on, but the best works are definitively my own.