Space Between Us
My paintings investigate my experiences and perceptions of open spaces and borders – neighborhood streets, green fields, walls and windows, traffic signs, a sea wall – in order to understand how great the distance is between myself and others and perhaps to close that distance. In fact, I think of my paintings as the visual articulations of a pictorial middle ground with which I hope to make contact, but that also keeps me in a position of a passive observer.
I am sure it starts with my family. Growing up with immigrant relatives, I heard their stories of coming to America and felt caught between their romantic visions of the homeland and my own home in Portland, Oregon. There was no single point of connection to places for me; but there were multiple pulls. We’re all from someplace else and we continually forge new connections. These notions of “us” and “them”, and of how we define the spaces between us, compel my work.
My imagery is taken from ordinary life and routine acts – spectators in the grandstands watching an event, noticing signs of life of your neighbors – when it is possible to connect. Each intuitive mark is less a reflection on the subject, than the expression of a desire to activate myself within the space. I am the observer pulled toward and simultaneously resisting closeness.