I paint to find my true self- the one buried under years of conditioning that taught me to abandon what was authentic and pure about me. My works are an act of self-empowerment- a reclaiming of a self-respect and self-acceptance that were unconsciously given away at an early age.
I am a representational, expressionistic painter with a focus on the figure. I view the subjects I paint as vessels that house emotions and concepts that are important to me. My work is also heavily influenced by East Asian philosophies of Taoism, Buddhism, and the concepts of Wabi Sabi (the beauty of imperfection), fragility, impermanence, and emptiness.
My training as a martial artist has taught me that true power lies in the ability to surrender myself completely to the moment, remain centered in my body and unattached to the outcome. This willingness to remain open, vulnerable, and empty in front of an opponent yields an outcome far greater than what my otherwise fearful mind and contracted body could create. As a painter, I try to approach each work with the same mindset. The blank canvas and self-critical mind are formidable opponents with whom I constantly spar.
By accepting my own inherently imperfect, frail, and fleeting existence, I discovered a beauty and serenity in the process of painting where the judging mind is silenced by the pure act of putting paint to canvas. In this voluntary surrender, what comes through is a reflection. The canvas is my mirror. Emotions and beliefs that I otherwise would not have the courage to face are revealed to me with each brush stroke.
Once the last brush mark is placed and a piece is finished, I am always faced with the same question asked by each painting, “Can you accept this reflection of yourself?” My answer doesn’t matter. What matters is that the question has been asked and explored through the process of painting.