Each gradient is a vignette of an experience or place in my Passing Memories series. I attempt to commit important events in my life to memory via painting. I meditate over photos I’ve taken/have been tagged in on social media. I also mine color purely from memory. Cold wax and oil paint are swiped across the canvas to conceal extraneous possibilities and to limit sentimentality. A thin trace of landscape is revealed. Skin tones, days at the beach, climbing a mountain with a lover, my parents’ backyard, a city sidewalk, the bayous in Louisiana where my ancestors once lived. Color triggers these recollections.
Earlier in 2018, I had the privilege of receiving an Artist Community Engagement Grant from the Rema Hort Mann Foundation to fund my socially engaged paintings. The title of my project, An Inventory of Traces, is inspired by Edward Said's Orientalism where Said writes "In many ways my study of Orientalism has been an attempt to inventory the traces upon me, the Oriental subject, of the culture whose domination has been so powerful a factor in the life of all Orientals." Thru abstraction, I wanted to celebrate the lives of immigrants. I met with immigrant artists and writers in NYC to learn about the traces the world has left upon them. Their stories inspired the color, composition, and literal traces on my paintings for which I am so grateful.
In my Sports Abstraction Series, I paint marks and forms that correspond with actions and symbols found in sports including brackets, suicide running drills, strategic play formations, trophies, and so on. I am fascinated by systems and parallels within art and sports. People often learn major life lessons thru sports; among those lessons are rules, conflict, collective action, democracy, fairness, morality, ambition, circumstance, and hierarchy. Part of why I choose to paint with oil on canvas is because each rectangle is like a court or field where there are specific rules, logic, and history. The studio is like an arena where unscripted drama can take place.