Inspired by Hannah Arendt's observations of Sputnik in the prologue to The Human Condition, Panofsky's groundbreaking if often impenetrable book on perspectivism as cultural form, and the practice of cognitive diffusion as used by various psychological fields, I am interested, most fundamentally, in the phenomena of perspective, in particular, the radical contingency of such phenomena. From my portraits of individuals preoccupied with internal processes even as they are possessed by alien forces to my fieldwork and research on the relation of perspective and cosmology in the Ashaninka tribe of Brazil to my research into the ayahuasca religion of Santo Daime, all my work can be said to explore and resignify what Chesterton asserts is the very essence of sanity—mystery, that is, the incompleteness of our understanding of the world and our place within it.
In my paintings, one can see the tops of things, the pinnacles of our horizon (houses, buildings, trees, and wires as they touch the sky), interacting fragments, blurred portraits of individuals immersed in processes both interior and exterior, intimate and impersonal, signaling a certain obliteration of perspective. The Looking Up series, for example, is comprised of paintings that evoke longing as a form of perspectivism, a way of being in the world that welcomes and even creates its own obstacles in order to prolong states of ecstatic transformation, as indicated by Walter Benjamin's musings on the subject. By painting the tops of things grazing the sky, I hope not only to elicit longing but hope, a vertical intervention. In this series, I work to understand various axes and vertical perspectives in relation to horizons. I ponder the eternity inherent to finitude.
My Takings and Leavings paintings illustrate states of being only dimly understood by those experiencing them and those looking at them. The subjects depicted possess only partial awareness of their surroundings and their selves. Since cognition can be understood as a dialogue that uses different languages to construct a narrative of self and world, I have chosen to use disparate and suspended fragments of our visual language to emphasize unknowing. Most recently, I have begun a series called Channelings, which feature the possessed subjects of Daryl Anka’s extraterrestrial called “Bashar” as well as people in the audience watching this activity. Channeling is described by Anka as a process analogous to switching channels on a television set. Blurring the portraits signals the reality of motion and the passage of time. More exactly, it depicts the interference that occurs when multiple, differentiated stimuli act on the channeling agent in the moments of transition between one "station" to the next.
All of my series take as their subject the conflict between faith and disbelief. In the space between these polarities I find myself skeptical and dismissive, yet hopefully pragmatic, allowing, and able to engage in the optimistic story-telling of the believer. It is in this in-between space, where something is hidden and also revealed, that I nurture a hopeful promise for disclosure and future freedom.