Representation and portraiture in the digital era are themes that inform my work. My paintings are based primarily on Internet images sourced from Facebook and social media. The first steps in this exploration were taken with the 'New Yorker' series of paintings, begun in 2012. It developed following correspondence with the street photographer, Brandon Stanton. With Stanton's permission, I based the 'New Yorker' series of paintings on images from his Humans of New York Facebook page. Stanton was pioneering in re-defining the portraiture art form through the viral medium of Facebook and continues to be a strong influence on my own work.
The digital image and its conversation with painting carries throughout my work. The modular and luminous characteristics of jpegs on our computer screen are amplified through the medium of oil paint. Meanwhile, the tactile, slow process of painting is a counterpart to the fragmented, transient entity of the digital image. In oil painting, I typically use three or four pigments and enjoy the process of reproducing the infinite hues of the digital image with simple tools. The 'decay' of the jpeg image as it is endlessly reproduced online seems to correlate with the material presence of painting. At the same time the temporal and tactile aspects of painting come to the forefront when juxtaposed with the slippery effect of images from our computer screens. In my work, the digital source helps me to better understand what painting is or could be, while the portrait motif is a channel for exploring themes of representation and materiality.
hrough this interplay, my work aims to explore representational painting and portraiture for contemporary times.