My painting explores contemporary applications of the ancient technique of buon fresco painting. Traditionally, this form of painting was applied on freshly plastered walls or ceilings in a manner that is rigid and fixed. While fresco has a long history as an architectural feature, contemporary use of the medium is barely existent due to reasons that include its physical demands and technical difficulty. I am interested in creating frescoes that push the boundaries of the medium in ways that acknowledge its history yet offer a point of access for contemporary viewers.
I create lightweight and portable frescoes. Using a variety of contemporary materials including Styrofoam and Magnesium Oxide panels, I make modular forms that float off the wall. I am also concerned with pushing the boundaries of traditional fresco imagery. Historically, wealthy patrons or institutions expressed their authority through fresco. As a counterpoint to a top-down use of the medium, I pioneered the technique of painting frescoes with an airbrush. In a nod to graffiti art, I spray pigment onto plaster in ways that veil my subjects. The figures become indefinite and ephemeral
My interest in the quieter technique of silverpoint drawing began while working on a large fresco mural at Van Meter Auditorium. Creating the mural was physically demanding and consisted of working 20 hour sessions with few breaks. Due to fatigue, I rested two days between sessions. Silverpoint drawing required little physical energy and became a respite during the fresco project. Similar to graphite drawing, silver leaves a faint mark when applied to a toothy surface. The metallic residue oxidizes over time and the drawings’ cool tones shift towards warmer hues. Silverpoint resonates with me not only because of the history and rareness of the medium, but because of thematic commonalities it shares with the larger body of my work. The stillness of silverpoint is contradicted by continual oxidation. In both painting and drawing, the visual forms I create express my curiosity about appearances and their relation to ideas of knowing and being.