I believe that energy is the foundation of our existence; it permeates through everything in the universe. My goal as an artist is to depict my understanding of energy. I am drawn towards ancient traditions around the world that have captured energy for centuries through textiles, pottery, and religious ceremonies.
Tibetan Buddhist monks view the Mandala as a geometric representation of the cosmos. The Now-Mandala series is inspired by this symbol in its depiction of energy. I gravitated towards this tradition for its ability to reflect the impermanence of nature; after creating a Sand Mandala, the monks wipe their creation away. This transformative quality has manifested itself in my paintings; I work with fluorescent paints, allowing the artwork to transform with time and different lighting conditions.
As a jazz pianist, I have long been drawn to music as a source of creative energy, and to traditions that incorporate art and music. Artisans from the Peruvian Amazon create geometric patterns in response to chants, or Icaros, sung by the local shamans. I find inspiration in this visualization of music; in the Now-Shipibo series, energy is treated as a vibration that saturates large, un-stretched fabric laid on the floor and is meticulously painted over the course of a few weeks.
Javanese Batik has also been greatly influential to my practice. Having grown up in a syncretic household where different religious beliefs are equally cherished, I was drawn towards the repetition of syncretic symbols in the tradition’s depiction of the universe. This repetition has found its way into my Now-Batik paintings. The resist-dye technique is slow, tactile, and part of the magic attached to the final piece. My process mimics this technique; instead of wax, I use painter’s tape to capture my perception of energy.
My goal is to visually convey the truth of our existence. By depicting energy, I intend to capture the most fundamental unit of life, and by doing so, express unity through the idea that the same force interweaves through us all.