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Painting is as much about dance & music as it is about visual space. I paint in response to music that makes a room in my mind, light in the late afternoon, movements of my body that precede thought. I paint landscapes that aren't how it looks but how it feels, and give the mind a place to walk around or rest. It’s a place to return to each day, and see differently.
I try not to leave anything out. I want all emotions, all parts to be present. I paint to make a place for all the parts of myself that seek expression, even if I don’t want to see or love all the parts. Beauty in nature includes death and darkness and drying out. Nature doesn’t know how to be beautiful, it just is. I paint towards just-is-ness.
A painting is finished when it hangs on the lively tension of movement and rest. The next painting knows a little about the previous, but still cannot explain itself. It is always moving into unknown territory.
• • • • •
After graduating from Brown in 2004 with a double major in Visual Art and Art History, I moved to Paris and found a collective of artists from all over the world in a squatted, abandoned state building in Belleville. We tore out walls and carpets of secretarial offices that had been locked since the 80s to make our studios.
Even a squat did not escape France's love affair with bureaucracy. Each weekend there was an interminable réunion on such issues as where the “seat of the administration” should be (the kitchen), cigarette smoke choking the air. But somehow we had running water, electricity, wifi, a chef, a massage therapist, and even a radio station.
We defended our project on a regular basis to the mayor of Paris, while I defended myself as the youngest in the group and the only American. This creative and challenging environment imprinted the possibility of a life by and for art-making. In 2007, I returned to Austin, Texas to participate in the burgeoning art community of my hometown.
In 2010, I made the leap to painting full-time, never looking back. I split time between my backyard studio and traveling as far and wide as I can get. In 2016, I received a Masters of Fine Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, in the inaugural class of the low-residency MFA program led by Gregg Bordowitz. My head exploded on a daily basis, and I came out knowing as ever that I've found a calling I will spend my life exploring without end.
photo by Rino Pizzi
photo by Tony Spielberg
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