2014 • 54.75″ x 31″
acrylic, spray paint on used fence pickets

The whole idea behind the concept of making paintings that highlight our use of food and the celebrations they’re tied to as a distraction to our existential angst came from a comment I made about art shows being essentially a “self doubt and cheese cubes” scene. So as I continue this series it is only fitting that I name my solo shows the same way.

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20121220-153700.jpgMy “elevator speech.” for this series has been lacking, I recently realized. People see the food, they see the ubiquitous devil and angel, the distressed individual, and they ask, “What does it mean?” I’m not interested in applying secret meanings postmortem, but I have thought more about how this idea was hatched and what it was about it that I found compelling.

I, as the artist, try to avoid decoding exactly the associations my brain pieces together. I don’t want to hinder creativity, inhibit visual expression, and decrease my production by having to craft everything I do into a finely honed allegory. I want unconscious associations to live, grow and evolve into surprisingly complex and rich juxtapositions that “synergize” into deeper truths. In other words I don’t sweat it. If it amuses me, I paint it.

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I have begun working on this new work. “Ennui Au Jus.”

We’ve all heard about combining food with other pleasurable sensory experiences like cheese and art shows, prime rib and strippers, sex and pastrami, so why not combine delicious food with a debilitating existential crisis?

“Nothing in the world is quite so awful as boredom…I’m talking about finding life itself not only uninteresting but also purposeless. Existential boredom defines an inability to find not just particular things but all of life interesting. It manifests itself as a mood in which, for no reason you can articulate, nothing seems to satisfy—even things that normally do.” – Alex Lickerman, M.D.


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2012 • 52.5″ x 35″
acrylic, spray paint on used fence pickets

We’ve all heard about combining food with other pleasurable sensory experiences like cheese and art shows, prime rib and strippers, sex and pastrami, so why not combine delicious food with a debilitating existential crisis?

Self doubt and sauerkraut obviously came together because of the rhyme, but the feelings of doubt that could be induced by the sight and odor of the strange and exotic are what is highlighted in this piece. The cautious angel is repulsed, the devil is ready to try anything, and the cat in the lederhosen is caught between belief and disbelief. Uncertainty, distrust, lack of sureness petrify him.

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2012 • 46.5″ x 27.5″
acrylic, spray paint on recycled fence pickets

We’ve all heard about combining food with other pleasurable sensory experiences like cheese and art shows, prime rib and strippers, sex and pastrami, well we also combine delicious food with our debilitating existential crises.

I found a picture of the most bored person I could, put a chef’s hat on him and was off and running. Like Sauerkraut and Absinthe before it, this piece tries to be flat and graphic and distressed hearkening back to the days sings were hand painted on whatever wood could be found.

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2012     •     48″ x 18″
acrylic, spray paint, paper on panel

“The burlesque existentialist is a stock character of the popular imagination, dressed in black and uttering gnomic assertions about life and the universe.” This quote, found on Temples of Reason, combined with my own notion of “sad clown” goths, standing around being miserable, reciting nihilistic aphorisms, lead to this painting.

The clown, sad serious and silly looking, stands on a short shallow stage that only highlights the ridiculousness of his attention starved misery. Painted on a collaged ground of old etchings, it creates an atmosphere around him that accentuates his mood.

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