Artist Statement

My work over the last 3 years I have been exploring the notion of what it m eans to be human. In my earlier work I tried to do this by creating images that pushe d the viewer into an internal exploration. Creating an atmosphere that evoked a place where one could take a hard look at their own feelings. In my recent w ork however, I have tried to focus mainly on individuals, and more specifically on portraits of individuals whose faces have stories to tell. A picture is worth a thousand worth, but fueled with only a sprinkle of imagination, a face ca n tell a thousands of stories, and getting those stories right, is my goal.

I have explored various cultures in my art ranging across Asia, Europe, Americas, Africa, Oceania and will continue to keep it as diverse as my travels will take me. I make it a point to travel to the countries I am exploring and get a sense of the culture first hand. I also have started exploring alternative cultures and body arts. I hope to work with more subcultures in the future.

My work is mostly focused on oil portraits, exploring various techniques, most of which has been documented. Not every face I paint belongs to a real person, though I do work from real people or photographs at times. Especia lly in the last two years, if I did use a reference I made sure it was something I have witne ssed rather than rely on found images.

The secondary focus has been on landscape paintings, more specifically trees with surrounding areas. In these the atmospheric affect as well as a s eemingly minimalist approach that hides the tedious attention to detail are vital. Thes e paintings are based on almost mathematical methods that make the process of painting them almost therapeutic. Because of this I refer to them as my Dz Angry Trees dz in private. That is the emotion I need to bottle up before I can make one of these paintings. Publicly their name is Dz Silent Trees dz because that is the primary emotion I wish to conjure.

While technique-wise I have been influenced by the old renaissance masters, as well as the 17 th century Dutch Masters. I prefer indirect painting with layers rather than start and finish with one layer as most realistic painters in this day and age do. But outside the technique I have to say my approach to art was mor e influenced by Van Gogh. I am often fascinated by his ability to channel pain to create lively colorful images. In a similar manner there is a singular emotio n that I tap into to fuel my art and that, is anger. A dark lingering emotion that I try to often reflect (even if partially) in most my paintings. Or sometimes like V an Gogh, I try and go the opposite route and create calming paintings. This is especially prevalent in the Silent tree series. the stillness and the calming e ffect of the trees is a façade that hides major sprouts of my anger, that I fel t the need to project unto the canvas.

I like the viewers to interpret the stories in my portraits and I want to relax before my silent trees. I do not want to limit the stories that get told in people ’ s imaginations, stories that the viewers create out of my characters. That will o nly strengthen our collective creativity as we tap into lives that were and lives that could have been...