About the Artist

After god died, I found myself wandering many streets in search of both moral guidance and a sense of purpose. My readings led to satisfying answers to my moral quandaries, but my sense of purpose was never fulfilled. My religious upbringing and its loss left me stranded. Though rational answers were plentiful, nothing seemed to fill my emotional need.

Can anything on this earth provide a substitute for the transcendental religious experience? That can allay our fears of death and give us a sense of purpose in the short time we have? It is often thought that there were only four ways to cope with our plight: religion, love, art and intoxication. I think the strength of the first three lies in the power of connection they create between us. That sense of knowing we share in the same fate. The last is surely a false escape. But of these four, it is art that is timeless, boundless, unifying and powerful; it is art that is a reflection of ourselves and a window into the lives of both our contemporaries and our predecessors. To look at a Vermeer is to step into his world. To listen to Bach is to feel the spiritual transcendence of the faithful, even for an unbeliever. The Wasteland, Citizen Kane, Opus 111. They are all us.

To sit in my studio and paint from that deepest part of myself is to participate in and shape this legacy, however small. Just as sitting at the piano to stumble through some classical piece brings me closer to those masters. Listening to random selections from my music library while I paint, I feel that connection to them – both the quick and the long dead. There is no greater sense of peace than that which I feel at those times. When, ex nihilo, a thing of beauty can appear through the strains of that music. Magic happens. Blankness to beauty. It cries out: “This is who I am. This is who we are. Remember us.” It is the only immortality I can ever know. From this vantage, the work cries out for a strong statement that can reach across centuries. I cannot be satisfied to devote myself to mere beauty. This is a place of serious business. This is life and death.

In those times when I am in a dark mood, and that is quite often, I think on the existentialists. They likened the human condition to a prison in which each day prisoners are randomly selected for execution. There is no chance of escape and the only certainty is that no one will get out alive. Though I might add that sometimes a prisoner may commit suicide and cheat the executioner. This is the absurdity in which we find ourselves.

Art is my way of reaching out into the darkness to hold the hands of my fellow prisoners.