BFA - The School of the Art Institute of Chicago - 1994

Washed RothkoIn school at the Art Institute of Chicago, I loved looking very closely at the works of art of the students as well as those in the museum and seeing how the techniques and styles created beautiful patterns and shapes in the tiny spaces of the works. I created tiny works patterned after the techniques of these students and masters; I was fascinated learning to capture the techniques. Sometimes a single tiny brush stroke, millimeters or less, would capture that one moment within the larger picture. Other times ink or paint dripped and moved within the matrix of various media. At the microscopic level, intricate details came to the front that, in the whole of another work would be lost. These microscopic pieces of other artworks, as well as the techniques to mimic them became the core on which I built. The DNA. As time has moved on I've pulled more environmental factors or chemical reactions into the process: freezing, evaporation, erosion, dissolving, melting, etc.

With practice and technological innovation, I have been able to capture the tiny details in very high resolution, allowing large, museum quality prints. But I haven't been satisfied with the serendipitous, process art. The DNA of the work creates clues of a puzzle to solve. Digital alteration allows representative photographs to sneak into the collages, along with coloration and digital drawing to end up with works that have been drawn by hand in physical works, then photographed, collaged, drawn on digitally, recombined, etc to find the solution. Ultimately the work is intuitive, but it is no longer random as I inform them with the sense of the surreal (though not in the Jungian dream or Dali sense) and hint at the representative. It is an exercise to solve the puzzle to find those things that are abstract, but at the edge of what we think we recognize. To find common patterns and tease tension from their juxtaposition with the digital and geometric, the process and the concept.