For years I’ve been experimenting with glassware imagery—a reference to our fragile and often precarious human condition—to ask questions about our relationship with the external world. I use simple vessels that are at once functional containers, symbols of poetic thought, and conduits into liminal, ecstatic states of being to explore the fusion of our inner world’s unbounded expanse with private, domestic environments. Through the repetition and expansion of patterns, each painting moves from an initial simple reference of still life objects toward something infinite and enveloping.
The glassware radiates a breathless sparkle, shamelessly expressing moments of guileless, childlike wonder evoked by an excess of shimmer and shine. I see that component of the work as essential to my existential vision and quest; its purpose is neither to critique consumerism in our culture nor to merely celebrate provincial, homey notions of beauty.
In my compositions I often consider the intersection of painting and architecture as I include glassware forms that call to mind elements of cathedral interiors, suggesting their stain glass windows, massive architectural supports, fine ornamentation, and decorative flourishes. The intensely structured edifices that emerge, while referencing Baroque motifs of grandeur and theatricality, also read as illusory, groundless fragments of experience, like elemental, mystical, local and personal utopias that hover before our eyes. They tend to exude a brilliant “cathedral presence,” evoking sublime, oceanic feelings of union with the mysterious “other,” of self with the universe.
I work exclusively with glassware because I find it best aides my imagination in replacing the traditional third-person perspective of the still life with a first-person, personal viewpoint. The resulting image is a place into which the viewer can fall and get lost as forms oscillate between objective reality and abstraction, image and reflection, and figure and ground.
Part of my intent has also been to counterbalance this dream-like, Platonic quality with a humbler, worldlier one by filling vessels with colored liquids that become provocative to our senses; I invite the viewer to indulge in a festive, celebratory, and epicurean experience.