My work examines my own troubled experience with memory: its inaccuracies and inconsistent function, and how the unchecked desire to reconnect with a moment from the past can be precisely what unravels any authentic connection to that time. To me, a photograph is a mirage of memories. To explore this, I am continually conflating notions of physical and mental distance in my images, applying subtle hazes or blur over my subjects, so that no matter where one stands in relation to the work, specific detail is never quite described or reached — similar to a silver band of water shimmering just below the horizon on a hot day. The result is an inquiry into the uncanny — a phenomenon we can all see and describe, maybe even one we can attempt to explain, but a paradox that we can never quite connect with.
These paintings represent a body and person who no longer exists. To make sense of the new body that grew into the remaining vacancy, I acquired photographs of my blood pathology taken before a stem cell transplant to investigate my experiences by examining my illness on a cellular level. The process of painting from these images is connected to the observational practices that are a historical bridge between art and medicine. This became an exercise in seeing and recording divergent cellular forms. While working to represent subjects that I could only understand formally, I began to develop rudimentary diagnoses based on color, shape, texture and size.
The cells were extracted from my pelvic bone and dyed violet to reveal abnormalities in cellular development and material content. The colors in these paintings have been changed significantly. I chose palettes based on humoral medicine; the belief of ancient Greek and Roman physicians that an excess or deficiency of four key materials in the body were the root of all illness. Common treatment under this system was the removal of blood to restore balance to the fluids in the body. During the transplant, my own blood was removed and replaced to begin anew.
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