My painting process centers on building layers, working with oil to add, subtract and blur. In this process, I have a relationship with both the source images and the paint itself. My work has involved found photos since 2005 when I was an art student and stumbled upon a box of abandoned family photos next to a dumpster in a Philadelphia alley. I'm drawn to the painterly quality of colors created by old film cameras and amateur lighting, as well as the informal postures of the figures and the scuffs and smudges that occur over time to their surfaces. By recreating and reinterpreting these snapshots in the traditional medium of oil paint, I work to expose the beauty of these discarded artifacts. In the process I bring abandoned memories back to life.
Often I work from sets of photos shot at the same event, on the same roll of film, so that the images together create a cast of characters and a narrative to draw from. They depict family events, birthdays and vacations, as easy to relate to as they are strange and unknowable. In particular I'm interested in the ways people pose themselves for memories and the tension between what a person might have been trying to convey then and what is conveyed now, by what can be captured in a photograph and what the photograph shows is not there. In my painting, I use paint to express that tension more clearly, erasing or adding from other photos or my own invention. As I slowly build and excavate layers of paint, my relationship with the world of the photo deepens. Presenting the paintings in turn asks the viewer to bring themselves into a relationship with the images. These connections made mean everything to me.