In a post-post-modern world, I sometimes worry broadly that visual art has taken a turn for the worse.  I wonder if this stems from the over-intellectualization of art. Perhaps Charles Bukowski, infamous pen-holder to personal experience, said it best, “An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way.  An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.”  Is this becoming less and less the case?  Are we moving away from communicating empathically, vulnerably, replacing modes of feeling in favor of making ironic intellectual statements?  I worry about a culture that operates primarily in the latter mode.  I know far too many non-artists who, given the chance, would spend all day at the Louvre but remain uninterested in contemporary art spaces, having been burned by overly vague intellectualism in the past.  I blame us artists — with no feigning of personal innocence — for making these unwelcoming spaces in the first place.  Our inquiries are able to generate much more meaning with broader participation.

 

My work and research stem from the knowledge that personal experience functions as a microcosm of culture.  Our experiences serve to reinforce or challenge a contemporary cultural mythology that can be harmful if left unexamined as “myth.”  My practice is always in transition, as I grow increasingly interested in investigating alternative modes of engagement, of communicating accessibly.  Writing has become a critical part of my practice, as it is through words that some audiences gain initial confidence in their ability to digest visual works.  Fear of vulnerability causes me to embrace it in my artwork as a means through which to connect to my viewer.  The hope is that this sometimes-terrifying openness might somehow help us to reach an intimate new awareness of the previously unexamined.