In the past few years there have been hurricanes, floods, dwindling species and habitat destruction, harsh political rulings and life-changing social events. Both the environment and social issues of sharing urban space, policing, inequality, etc. weigh heavily on my mind and are expressed in my work. These themes are approached in many ways which range from expressing personal and physiological narratives to more direct commentary on local, national and global current events.
My artwork is inherently political, as we live in a political world, but never overtly so. My paintings are coded using animal symbolism and appear more like nature paintings or magical realism than direct social statements. The animal imagery in my work is carefully arranged based on the individual and universal meaning that the animal embodies, often reflecting the animal’s natural character and many roles. A horse or an elephant has a lot of inspiring attributes and is often used as a strong positive symbol, while birds are more complex and can be many things. Together they are one voice but separately some are parasitic and steal other species’ nests, killing their offspring. Some return to the same home every year but fly hundreds of miles before they reappear. Pigeons are so common that we don’t understand or respect them as the doves that they are. These animals are metaphors for our individual and group actions. When a figure is included in my imagery the painting becomes a type of self-portrait, a way that I begin to understand myself in our multi-dimensional world.