The Ineffable Condition
"If you’re looking for a meaning, you’ll miss everything that happens.".
The Ineffable Condition is a series that gets to respond to what’s happening in culture and in the world, both in an artistic and therapeutic way. And with that comes a really great responsibility to be a lot more thoughtful about what images to put out there and why.
Exquisitely colored and imbued with a sense of flying, eruptive energy, these self-portraits, seen from the chin up, are not necessarily an effort to represent an intimate or psychologically aware account of the particular sitter. Rather, the silvery grays with emphatic black markings, greens and tan-blues, and smoky lavenders touched with orange reflect on the kind of womanhood trapped in a cage of her own psyche, constantly battling her own expectations of herself, her desire to raise a family and be socially settled, and her desire to feel an individual freedom made impossible by those things. After all, we are all drawn to this false sense of security because it allows us to play out a fantasy that we know we need to leave behind. It embodies a womanhood that many, cis and trans, yearn for, against their better instincts: one that replicates the infantilized yet secured state of the suburban housewife, where we can be both victim and perpetrator, but mostly have our agency taken from us.
With cropping that is reminiscent of the Impressionist and photographic works which emerged onto the art scene years earlier, these portraits - forms simplified into flat sections of color, colors used in an expressive way which is visually pleasing if not strictly natural - create tension through the truncation of space; they dominate the whole frame, physically touching all sides, pressing close to the picture plane, almost into the viewer's space as if to ask: Do you talk about your pain? Are you lonely? Which inner muscle of your heart is working too hard to compensate for the other muscles of your heart? Do you sometimes feel like you have to go all night? Are you running on empty? Can you make it? Do you want to ask for help? Do you know how?
- Visual Influences
Frank Auerbach - "I want everything in the painting to work, that is, every force, every plane, every direction to relate to every other direction in the painting – so there’s no paradiddle or blot somewhere. I feel very strongly that if a painting is going to work, it has to work before you have a chance to read it."
Henry Matisse - He pioneered a revolutionary use of color and form, refusing to accept that color must reflect the real world. Seldom does one color take a back seat in the painting; even if it is used sparingly, the surrounding colors tend to promote each other. Color is never muted, only their values are shifted. He is especially admired because he continued to search for new ways to create, while at all times maintaining that color was his primary focus.