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Are you a figure painter or a craft multi-media artist? How do you label yourself?

This is a complicated question because style feels innate and deeply personal, something that emanates from within, but one's style is a choice, and even if it is after the fact you do have the responsibility to answer it and understand those choices, at least place them historically. So, my first question would be: are speaking about the background, the figure’s clothed body or the skin of the figure, because all are handled differently? The background is a subconscious space, it is an actual representation of subconscious emotions, all the emotions that are tugging at us and the people in these images in these experiences and they are therefore mashed together because this is the point of my work, that these experiences are fundamentally the same, defined by the same cultural ethos of violence and fear of others, and scarcity, a deeply damaged psychology. So, these background spaces are made as blended abstractions, a place that feels like scratches on a prison wall, the walls of the psyche perhaps, an almost dreamlike space, not meant to look real but not wholly unreal either, borrowing from the real and blending and twisting it. I paint and hand-embroider figures so you can call me a figurative artist, but I use embroidery thread, so I am not a traditional painter. My work relies on documentary style photos, from photojournalists and the news stories in which these images are found, so I am a realist artist, drawing from media sources found online. I paint abstractly mostly and yet the abstractions within the context of the body define traditional form. Where does this leave me? I don't have a label for what I do. Some artists place themselves very squarely within a grouping. Many painters do this very comfortably and with purpose. I don't. I enjoy living in-between mediums, mixing them up, using them as they fit the purpose of the work. I work in video sometimes as well, so perhaps you could call me a "multi-media" artist. I have no concern for these things. I think what matters at the end of the day is the ability of the work to incite a real emotional response that has value to our historical knowledge of ourselves in the present - as much as that is possible.

I choose to work very specifically from Texas because Texas is the culmination point of all the extremes of American society. It is the ugliest of stages upon which the American drama unfolds. Texas r

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