My current body of work has been guided and shaped by my struggle to understand the Christian faith and our various concepts of morality in the American culture. The development, meditation, and manifestation of my deliberations on these subjects has taken the form of brutally harsh, black and white woodblock prints. In this work, I deal with the polarity and separation of moral ideals and the reality of our lives. With harsh contrasts and visceral marks, these prints address the misshapen polarity of moral ideas in the real context of our contemporary lives.
Relief printmaking, in its earliest European form, has always has been used for the reproduction of religious text and iconography. Using this lens, i.e., the early European tradition of allegory and iconography, as an instructional tool, I have created narratives, pulling from both my own symbolic tools and the fictional characters of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of The Rings. With an interest in the western religious tradition of relief printmaking, I refashion narratives with my own symbolic character explorations and also fictional characters from popular culture sources such as J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.
In my larger woodblock prints No Way Back, for example I have created purposely vague, surreal narratives, brutal in both style and subject, allowing viewers to develop their own understanding of the value and intention behind the allegorical relationships of the characters. This method of mixing my own visual language and imagery with characters from popular fiction allows me to strengthen and direct the viewer into my own deliberations, bringing the viewer into my creative space through cross examination of the symbols, themes, narratives and characters depicted.
This body of relief prints, as a whole, is a personification of my own struggle to understand questions of morality in a global community that is overflowing with extremist violence and ideological standoffs. By pulling from my own artistic vocabulary and interpretation of fictional situations, my work explores the differences between who we are, as a people, how we view ourselves idealistically, and how we see ourselves through the eyes of our fiction and our faith.