I am inspired by people, collective identity, public and private, yes and no, fragility, belonging and not belonging. If people understood what I said I saw in my work only, it would be lifeless. I am most happy the more people see the work differently than I do. I need the figure in my work. I respond to the abundance of imagery from the deluge of media available. I draw as a means to negotiate my position with our times. My work is prolific and varied. I tend to use a limited color palette so that information is lost in translation and replicated images are mere vestiges of themselves.
My work is an exploration of power – power within and outside, power in its implicit working through all levels of life and experience. Through exploring complex psychological states, my work strikes a balance between the very personal and the socially charged. My work is based on photographs mostly and there’s often a political undercurrent in the choice of imagery. I draw subject matter from the most banal to the most charged photojournalistic images. A portrait of Laurent Gbagbo innocuously next to a portrait of my son renders the political as defunct – power is stripped of its authority. Through making I render all things equal.
I associate mostly with the Romantic, beauty not in the sense of amorous passion (one that implies tragedy), but a beauty that sits in limbo accepting death and life, precision and imprecision. Recently I came across a philosophical discussion of the concept of Romanticism, and it seems my work really sits in these thoughts – there is beauty in the macabre, something can be sweet and violent. I liken my work more towards Delacroix’s sensibility in the sense that his approach is impulsive and violent, versus an Ingres whose approach is controlled and precise. While I admire the precise approach and waffle between the two, I sit most comfortably with the former. Like the Romantics I respect history to the utmost, though I do not venerate it. I explore it.