Artist Statement

My current body of work is called "Medulla". In it, I utilize projections of video that I created of animation and video college of brain imaging, neurons, etc. I also have around 40-50 pieces of framed 2D work, and upwards to 10 sculptural pieces. All of these works are inspired by the brain and the colorful "Brainbow" or dyed neuron images created by Jeff W. Lichtman and Joshua R. Sanes, both professors of Molecular & Cellular Biology at Harvard University. I utilize color-changing LED lights and different pigments of color to "animate" otherwise stationary objects. Each color reacts differently do different colored lights. For instance, a fluorescent color will "glow" in a blue light, as will a red color in a blue hue light. As the light's hue changes, the colors seem to dance across the 2D paintings, as well as the 3D sculptures.

 

My work with watercolor/ink and foam sculptures all come from a fascination with microscopic organic matter, most recently, the cells that make up the brain. I find the way watercolor/ink media, when used with certain techniques like wet on wet technique, can be fluid in movement, creating images reminiscent of cells we see in biological studies, such as neurons, which my recent work is primarily focused. These media when applied with different techniques, such as the one mentioned above, can be unpredictable, and I find that I have only a small amount of control over where the pigments flow and spread. The spray foam I use for the sculpture behaves in a similar manner. I have limited control with the media, but after I apply it to, for example, a mannequin, the final form after it falls and expands is a mystery. The final form is reminiscent of organic form such as the brain as a whole. It is also fastening because the material itself is something that is man-made and does not occur naturally. There are also colors in each work that react to color changing LED lights, which is reflective of the electrical activity between neurons in the brain.

 

I see my video works in a similar way, at least from a biological standpoint. I see this work as being similar to the images we see under microscopes, making tiny cell visible to the human eye. The techniques I usually utilize in my video works are manipulating stock and personally shot footage, then combining it with cut-out animation.

My recent influences have been neurology and all biological and not-yet understood aspects of the brain. I first went down this path when I had different diagnoses meant to explain "the way I am". Why do I behave and think differently than "normal people" around me, and why do I have a difficult time relating to them? Asperger's Syndrome. Why do I have a hard time staying focused on something I am not extremely interested in? A.D.D. Why do I avoid unfamiliar social situations? Social Anxiety disorder...

 

There were many names doctors were quick to give "abnormal" characteristics, and while it was nice to have a name for these that have given me difficulty, I started to wonder how much science really knows about the brain and how and why disorders like the ones mentioned above come to be. There have been theories since the beginning of human kind about the brain, such as the influence of an individual's environment to the chemistry of the brain. In the present day, we know more about the cellular and chemistry of the brain, but many questions remain unanswered.

 

All of this is what drives my passion for my current body of work. The mystery and biology of the brain; How are memories stored and retrieved? What exactly are emotions, intelligence and imagination? How do neurons store information? What is consciousness?