Born in Hollywood, and raised in the San Fernando Valley, I painted a few things when I was a kid, then took a decades-long break. I began painting again in 2001.
I love the Pop Art of the 60s and its exposure of the manipulation inherent in advertising. Although I don’t feel overtly political, I similarly like to shine the light on our attachments. Currently, the connection between terrorism and commerce, whether in the obvious Suicide Bomb Barbie painting or as represented in the paintings of front page horror mashed-up with happy Macy’s underwear ads. Feeling anxious about terrorism? Just buy some underwear.
A most happy side-effect of painting has been to discover deeper abilities to love. I find it expansive and illuminating how just our attention – even seemingly objective attention – to a person or object, can create an intimacy of sorts. Perhaps if I paint everything, I’ll eventually feel connected to everything: the praying Muslims, the male underwear model, the turquoise Vespa, the 50s housewife. It is all us anyway.
To quote Balthus: “To paint is not to represent, but to penetrate, to go to the heart of the secret, to work in a way that reflects the interior image.” I aspire to reflect and penetrate, not merely represent. I am so not there yet, but I’m trying. Of course, Balthus was sort of pervy, so whatever.
However, I do like bringing secrets to the surface. To bring out the dark or unspoken or sexual, in a light-hearted and colorful and humorous way. I mean, what is really so scary about a butt plug, when it is painted in lush color with beautiful lighting? Just getting my dear friend – a fundamentalist Christian – to say “butt plug” in conversation was a joyful and silly thing.
I love James Rosenquist, Wayne Thiebaud, R. Kenton Nelson, Stanton MacDonald Wright, Magritte, Dorothea Tanning, and Cezanne. And I remember as a kid having books of Norman Rockwell, Vermeer and Titian, and spending hours mesmerized by what they could do.
When I wasn’t trying on makeup.
"You will do foolish things,
but do them with enthusiasm."