General Artist Statement
In creating my work, I strive to develop a dialectic between myself and the themes of the separate bodies of work that have provoked my interest over time. As an individual I am exploring my own conceived emotions on a multitude of levels through the form of color and abstraction while still keeping true to form. As an artist, I a looking at contemporary issues and exploring the subjects that arise out of them through thorough inner evaluation and comparing it to social commentary on the mass of subjects I work with. As an artist, my objective is to investigate the fine line between reality and narratives conceived as realities in our lives.
Gray Matter Show
The series of work being exhibited is titled “Gray Matter”. Technically speaking, Grey matter, with an “e” refers to matter made up of neuronal cell bodies. The grey matter includes regions of the brain involved in muscle control, sensory perception such as seeing and hearing, memory, emotions, and speech. The works reflect my personal and recent connection with these subjects that Grey Matter controls.
I keep being told I am young. However time seems to be passing quickly and my reactions and acts to events seem dull for my senses that Grey matter controls. A quote from Marcus Aurelius, the Stoic philosopher, states the following, “Time is like a river made up of the events which happens, and a violent stream; for as soon as a thing has been seen, it is carried away, and as a thing has been seen, it is carried away, and another comes in its place, and this will be carried away too.”
The images represent the place I have been in mentally and physically; an age and time in one’s life were nothing seems as it is. Life was really black and white but now gray is beginning to appear. Personal perceptions are skewed for the better or worse and the path of personal development is blurred.
These paintings represent the end of my “childhood” and the beginning of a new chapter that is referred to as “adulthood”. The bridge I was once standing on is gone, and I begin a new path in which things do move quickly and time is lost, even as these words are read, but that is something I can wrap my fist around, the fact that I am an embodiment of my actions and I create my factual existence.
And so with all said begins the chapter in my life, “Gray Matter”.
I began my exploration into stoic philosophy as a way to combat my fears and anxieties and it has taught me a new approach to living my life in a way to question my decision-making in a logical way in which emotional responses are evaluated separately than logic.
Stoic philosophy developed in the Hellenistic period, 250 BCE-500 CE, and was popular in the Greek and Roman Era as guidance to living one’s life. Stoicism was the result of an attempt to designate good from evil and the propriety of fate in relation to life. As Marcus Aurelius wrote, “Nothing happens to any man which he is not framed by nature to bear.” A Stoic believes the individual is part of their natural surroundings and has control only on what those are, but not on one’s true and ultimate fate.
The ultimate gift of life is the control of the mind with the understanding that life is a journey based on the representation of four main concepts: truth, wisdom, justice, and moderation. Stoicism has become part of my consciousness to embrace this outlook on my life and ponder each moment as it arrives. Stoicism focuses on what one makes from life not on what one makes in life. In the end it is about being free from regrets and empowerment over ones judgments. Virtue is viewed as its own reward.
My recent embrace of Stoic Philosophy has led to the creation of a composition of work representing the self, the new voice I hold in everyday living, and in viewing that which is expressed in these visual constellations.