When I was 19 years old, a professor of mine introduced me to the paintings of Nathan Oliveira. I remember seeing Oliveira's lone figures and stark gestural landscapes for the first time at a gallery on East 79th Street in Manhattan and feeling awed. I wondered what it would be like to create an image so utterly compelling and powerful.
Many years later, I remain fascinated by the work of the Bay Area figurative painters from the 1950s and '60s, although my own art has its roots some 3,000 miles away—on the East Coast.
There’s something about oil paint that I cannot turn away from—something in its sheen, its smell, its texture. I try to paint from life in an emotionally vibrant way, focusing on gestures and posture, on how individuals wrestle with negative space, and on the passing moments when subjects find and lose their place amid light and shadow.
I believe that art should have at its core a sense of emotional urgency. And I am equally certain that a well-executed painting will leave an indelible mark on the heart of the viewer.