Fall 2014 artist statement
Blood is the record keeper of our origins; predetermining our phenotypes and ancestral lineage linking us to a past that we may never experience but to which we are a part. While the idea of blood may conjure images of death and violence, it is the substance of life. From the moment of conception blood flows through our veins, transporting oxygen throughout the body in order to breathe, think, and grow. Blood allows the cells to position themselves into the jobs they will carry out until the host body no longer lives. This river of blood transports the capabilities of the animal throughout it’s entire life. At the moment of death, the energy of that animal still lives whether it is consumed by another or through decomposition it returns to earth.
Across the globe, blood is used as a symbol connecting people to their celestial maker. Catholics drink the blood of Christ and consume his body. The Aztecs would free blood from their bodies in rituals that included human sacrifice in hopes to receive blessings from gods in agricultural and territorial conquests. In some African cultures blood tonics are fed to the weak and ill. Modern medicine uses the information contained within blood to understand our health and well-being. Chlorophyll, plant blood, gives life to photosynthesis playing an essential role ensuring oxygen to animals. Blood is life fluid.
Painting with blood is a way to communicate ideas of interior landscapes and metaphysical ideas of connectivity. For me using blood changes the act of painting because prior to the use of blood the paint was a neutral substance and did not come packed with conceptual properties. In these paintings, it serves as a metaphorical means to express the constant exchange of energy from one life to another. Every life and death is purposeful and blood is a record of that exchange. The versatility of the medium as a painting material allows for it to be used subtly or aggressively. Although the paintings may be reminisce of abstract expressionists, it is used in a manner that suggests bodily fluids, movement, and growth.
The rectangular pieces are reminiscent of microscopic slides, however, in this state the slide is expanded beyond life size. The painting becomes the specimen available for observation; sometimes magnifying the magic seen through a microscope or telescope. These pieces want the viewer to draw connections between science, art, and corporeal realities. Throughout this work, another form is often utilized: the circle. The circle is representative of growth and continuity. It is reflected in the petri dish, the womb of a mother, or the cosmos itself. It exceeds the edges of the microscopic slide, encompassing the unknown knowledge that even science is currently unable to comprehend.
Also, new work on the website. Check it out; it's been a busy semester.
I am a contemporary artist focused on the intersection of art and science in Lexington, KY.