Artwork’s Title: Sad Moon (You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory)
Materials Used: Oil on Canvas
Studio Based: Chicago, Illinois
Can you tell us about the process of making your work?
I usually start with a couple of drawings from a small notebook to figure out compositional things. The fun part starts when I start laying down paint and figuring out color and surface relationships. I typically work on multiple paintings at a time so I don’t get bored or overthink one specific painting. Deciding when a painting is done is usually the trickiest part.
How would you define your work in a few words (ideally in 3 words)?
Uncertain, quiet, synchronistic.
Would you use another three different words to describe the (title) painting?
Tentative, longing, satirical.
How did you come up with this painting idea? Is there any story behind this painting?
I was going through a breakup with a long time girlfriend and was leaning heavily into my work and making paintings for a solo show. My work typically doesn’t have any clear narrative, but I was feeling very sappy so I figured “Why not just make a cheesy, sad bastard painting?”. I pursued this idea with the understanding that heartbreak is a feeling everyone could relate to, seeing as most pop songs are about it. My work has an injection of satire which for this one, was a sort of defense mechanism for approaching a deeper subject, so the moon and stars making a sad face :(, primary colors and the cheesy shadows of a couple in the mirror act as both symbols of sadness and satire. The title is the name of a Johnny Thunders song which I find both cheesy and sincere.
What colour is used the most in this painting?
Many different variations of blue.
What would be the best way to exhibit your work?
All together in an open space. I feel that viewing the work as a body allows the individual pieces to speak to one another and make my decisions within the work a little more clear in repetition.
Can you mention any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?
Matthew Wong, Norman Rockwell, Andy Warhol.
How do you know when this painting was finished?
There was a lot of last minute decisions made with this one, but ultimately when I felt that the colors and information within the objects on the table were creating just enough tension and quietness.
What about the place where you work? What’s your studio space look like?
Right now, I work in the classrooms at school (The School of the Art Institute of Chicago), or at home in my dining room.
Is there any particular message that you wish your viewers can take from this painting?
I want the viewer to get whatever they wish from it, but my pursuit in making this body of work is to create images that value beauty over concept the same way that music typically does.
What does your mum think about your art?
She likes that I’m doing something productive with my time.
Which exhibition did you visit last?
The Andy Warhol exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago.
What are your plans for the near future?
Keep working towards completing my undergraduate degree and participating in a group show later this month. Overall, I’d like to figure out more about why I paint and what is important to me.
©All images courtesy of the artist