Artist Statement Submitted 2019With this body of work, I seek to contextualize our contemporary history by exploring American history and myth as both origin and allegory; interrogating how we navigate identity and the conflicts between freedom and equality.
Growing up in Georgia, I witnessed both race riots and a school shooting. Both experiences left me horrified, but unsurprised by the confluence of white nationalism and mass shootings in El Paso, Charlottesville, and your own Charleston, among far too many others. I approach my work as memoir - inserting myself into the narrative, hoping to lead the viewer by first illustrating my own privilege. I don’t intend to act as a proxy for minority voices, but a bridge to those who might not hear them, to initiate a dialogue with the conservative culture in which most contemporary classical paintings exist. I believe the tradition of history painting is particularly suited for this purpose.