Statement for Senior Thesis Show, Spring 2020

I was not raised in a religious household, nor have I ever considered myself to be one particularly hung up on existential notions. Nevertheless over the past few years I have often experienced moments that can only be described as spiritual, and have struggled to find the words, images, or even other experiential parallels to process the feelings these moments provoke. I have found that it is through painting, through recalling my thoughts and feelings in these moments of inexplicable profundity, and in attempting to render them on canvas that I come closest to understanding and even reliving what I felt before. These efforts formed the conceptual foundation of my senior thesis.

 

The moments that inspired my thesis were confounding – difficult not only to express to others but even to adequately isolate and characterize, to discern the elusive thread connecting them. I consider the works I produce in this endeavor to be landscapes, though across the range of work, this definition of “landscape” varies. What these moments share however is their emotional resonance. They are all inspire­­d by spaces – as distinct from mere places bound by strictly linear time and fixed truth – that evoke in me a sense of spiritual depth and almost transcendental connection to the world around us through confrontational juxtapositions of scale, atmosphere, and the existential beliefs we maintain regarding our relationship with the natural world. My overall intent is to render in paint these complex emotional moments; some as images of scenes as I recalled them, and others as atmospheric representations of the feelings I had experienced within them. In both cases I recognize not only the difficulty of my task, but also the uncertainty inherent to inducing a specific experience in a viewer. All art is subjective to varying degrees, and although my work may not evoke in others the same feelings I tried to capture, my hope is that it will incite in any viewer some response of emotional or even purely aesthetic value.