My paintings are enigmatic dreamscapes of family history and memory. Full of obsession with linework, light, and overcharged forms, my paintings capture specific details of my heritage and spaces I've occupied. This idea sprouted from an incident that occurred during my junior year of undergrad, when my family’s gas station caught on fire while I was working on a series of paintings about the station. In that moment, it clicked that my art would become a method of preservation that harbored deep sentimental value. From that point on, I’ve become hyper-aware of noting little details and moments around me in fear of losing them. As a result, every aspect of my paintings’ surfaces receive the same level of attention, and the compositions become dizzying, chaotic, and fantastical. Whether I’m capturing landscapes I’ve experienced or objects representing my heritage, my works are connected by this characteristic web of small, detailed moments.
While my ideas span several genres and motifs, landscapes dominate my portfolio and bring to life the energy I find in my surroundings. Rooted in the work of Charles Burchfield, Shara Hughes, Joseph Yoakum, and Neil Welliver, the detailed malleability of my exterior scenes expands experiences and time as they evolve on their own terms. While I base the compositions on actual spaces I’ve occupied, I transform them into their own worlds that still retain references to old memories.
This same preservational concept infiltrates my experiences and interpretations of interior space. My compositions are juxtaposed memories; whether through paintings of my grandparents' house or scenes from my family's gas station, nostalgia is a prism I use to bend both observed and invented space. Consequently, the paintings have an emotional resonance. I'm also intrigued by the way paintings can control viewers to observe for an extended period of time, and my dreamlike interiors (inspired by David Hockney and Matthias Weischer) accomplish this through hidden objects and portals.
Some of my paintings explore mixed heritage. As an enrolled member of the Myaamia Nation of Indiana, I dwell on my two identities and fear losing a culture that thins through each generation. My works unpack this internal conflict, as seen in “Myaamia Sibyl” and “American Spirit,” among others. My commitment to art is necessary regarding my heritage; art is preservation and storytelling. One misstep in my generation could result in the loss of centuries of cultural information, and my art practice is an extension of this responsibility.