Call & Response – Painting in New York
I am looking at older paintings and laughing at just how forlorn they are! It was a moody, introspective time in my life. Through my paintings, I was attempting to make something sincere that reflected my depression and acted as the visual equivalent of the melancholy synth-pop music that I love. Ten years later, I am relieved to be much happier and living on the West Coast.
During the 2000s, my art featured “contained miniature landscapes”, informed by my conflicted feelings about growing up in Houston’s suburbs. I would paint benignly cute, expressionless birds or fish instead of people because I wanted the paintings to feel empty and post-human. My small trees and landscapes conformed to the shape of the containers, with roots, tendrils, and branches breaking out. I loaded my art with personal imagery like the Klein tool bag in this painting, which I toted around as my day bag for years. People would ask what I had in my bag, it was usually just a book and other mundane daily objects, but I thought it might be nice if my bag contained something truly magical like a little snowy landscape and a forlorn red bird. After deciding to paint my own bag of tricks, this was the result.