Born in Toronto Canada I grew up drawing and painting in a basement room in my families home. In the city at that time a massive urban development was going on. There was constant construction and demolition, a pre gentrified dilapidated west end plus a variety of oddly designed storefronts and signage. I constantly walked and this visually stimulating environment became my education in space, content and color. As a middle school student I was able to visit museum and gallery shows as diverse as Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party, William Blake's etchings and Barnett Newman's abstract paintings. These rich experiences formed me in addition to the classic comic book artists of the 70’s who's mark making abilities I worshipped.
In my 2011 show in Brooklyn at Robert Henry Contemporary I wrote that I viewed a abstract painting as an idea which is either on its way to being finalized or on its way to being destroyed. Given that point of view it’s hard to determine when any image is truly finished in the studio. I began seeing that my paintings were like a construction site where from the outside you could see how the it was being put together on the inside.
Abstract Painting works as a reference to different colors, textures of paint and ideas.
In the early 90’s I left Toronto to study painting and 20th century art history as a expat at the Florida State MFA program. Before moving on to New York City, where I’ve been since, I was deeply influenced by a conceptual print maker Charles Cohen who told me to understand my work as a picture of a abstract painting, and that perspective strangely has never stopped intriguing me.
In my most recent solo show at Wave Hill, I was interviewed by Bronx.net. Answering a question I stated that what I expected for viewers to “get” from my paintings was to take away from the images that I and hopefully they can have a engagement with the haphazard, formal, chromatically scattered and messed up relationships you encounter all around you in the urban environment. Many times as you walk through the city we can notice these mostly accidental combinations of pattern and color and image. These things can ring true to me, and I’m reminded of musician John Cage’s fascination with chance occurrences as he performed on a busy New York City street by making people listen.
Most recently on Instagram I have mentioned that the new paintings as well as my new Walnut ink drawings think about the spaces of order and chaos. We constantly inhabit both on the internet and in “reality”. Painting can make sense of this chaos fused with order, often perhaps by playing with it. This was beautifully observed by the recently deceased artist Louise Bourgeois when talking about depicting the spiral. She wrote “ It is both an attempt at controlling chaos ... and the fear of losing control” It's a exciting activity and working metaphor for contemporary art with certainly no shortage of chaos to go around.