"A lot of what I do is to re-invest romance into painting, an urge I find inevitable while staring at pictures, despite the absence of romantic dialogue from the contemporary art discourse. Incongruous with modern tastes and standards for suitable subject matter, I often say my work is about love. I like the way this assertion bothers serious art.
More importantly, I say this because I am often moved to experience something closely akin to love while moving through the endless world of visual media, whether it is looking at other art, advertising, fashion, cinema, pornography or photojournalism. I’ve been calling this place the Sensual World, the place I prefer to work.
For many reasons, I also use the label 'Ultra Sensitive' to describe my portraits, which is taken from the LifeStyles brand condom wrapper. My canvases and the prophylactic are both inanimate, lifeless material objects. Yet when stretched over an erect support both attempt to simulate the sensational attributes of flesh come to life. I am intrigued by the way the condom boasts possession of such a rare and amorous personality trait, and I desire similarly extreme sensitivity for my work.
Despite advertised promises of intimacy, the condom acts as a layer of distance between bodies during sexual 'union' similar to the distance I regret feeling between each sitter and myself, caught in the act of gazing. Representational art may suggest a human relationship even though it cannot deliver the actual thing. This parity supplies the longing which has been all of my work’s great motivator.
Lastly, my art practice is a hedge against the banal cruelty of normative work and life. Growing up gay with an influential Evangelical Christian pastor for a father wrought in me a life seeded with tension, conflict and complicated values. These are constants which enrich my world within view of an oppressive sublime, a predilection for sad young men, and self-awareness strong enough to know that illusory art is a pleasure that can dissent, sustain and fortify against threat. I am beginning to wonder how my work can ingratiate the traditions of art while aggravating an erotic nerve underneath, touching off queer narratives that become generative for future work."