Bodies are slick, diaphanous, partial, chunky, Other—they vary in legibility, suspended in emergence and expulsion from the environment. Spaces are otherworldly, sticky with crusts and color tokens. The clogging of atmosphere with physical paint creates an exchange between figure and ground and rejects the Western aesthetic division between abstraction and figuration. As body and space collide, morph, and rub up against each other, they leave the residue of a queer, diasporic mythology.
Multiple selves make these works. One asks sensorial questions of painting: what feelings, memories, and experiences can I transmit through color and material? I embed the smell of marigolds, the swift temperature change of the California desert, or the thick haze of a three a.m. dance floor make-out. My trusting self follows visions of color and shape, believing that they reveal my ancestry and life experience. At times I search for the painting through my body: I press, rub, and scratch, my actions becoming form-events. Still a fourth self renders and excavates the mythic bodily forms, made not born, who dive through, push, and hold up the paintings.
The diver form emerged from the inverted triangle of a built-up, cruddy drawing that I made during quarantine last spring. I wanted action, direction, and speed. I began thinking of divers as a digestion of painted bathers; my divers are in motion, active, muscular and gender-fluid. As I iterate this form, the dive becomes a site of projection–a metaphor and the thing itself. The idea of subject-in-process is part of my interest in diving and divers; the dive is the space between ground and abyss, stand and submergence, knowing and not-knowing.
Oil on panel
Diver Drawings, 2021
Acrylic, gouache, and crayon on paper
Oil on canvas