Each of my paintings or works on paper embodies a certain energy that resonates through the visage of the picture. Lately that visage has been a scowl and furrowed brow. I am a New Yorker, and an American citizen in a country that has just witnessed the election of a fascist dictator. We are in a new existential crisis. It is a surreal time to just to be alive. As a result of our frightening predicament, I am compelled to channel this and respond through my work, more directly than in the past. Although abstract, my work has become much more objective or referential in the last two years, moving towards an abstract symbolism. There is a figure and ground, and the forms are made to slip between reading as un-fixed forms in motion with a kind of nuclear fury and that of a terrifying, monstrous head or face.
Recently I have been researching German folklore because I recognize that as the sitting US President’s heritage is German, as is a large part of my own, this makes for fertile territory in which to situate my critique of our political moment. The Aufhocker is a formless demon that oppresses victims under it’s own crushing weight. After the recent election, all that led up to it, and all that has followed, I think there is no more appropriate metaphor for the new administration and symbol for the feeling of dread that many of us have at this moment; this is our villain, an ominous, crushing, unfixed, and abstract. Each piece in this ongoing series is numbered and titled Aufhocker. It seems a perfect moniker, bestowing the work with an identity that manifests itself with an exceptional fit and poignancy, and a sense of urgency in this critical time. I regard each layer of these collaged and painted works as both an act of creation and negation, and am cultivating abjection quite deliberately in these works on paper. It is an exciting time in the studio, my repertoire is expanding after a long period of distillation, engaging new mediums and processes; while the language is becoming more pointed and critical.
MNG, March 1, 2017