December 5, 2016

The human story in all of its messiness

It’s all subtext.

If you take the ten-thousand-foot-view of my work, which a lot of people do, it’s easy to say that I am a fan artist.

The most basic definition of what I do is to make fan artwork of the fandoms I love.

This is not wrong. And yet, it’s not right either.

The ten-thousand-foot-view is a fine view, but you miss all the details. There are so many themes in my work that get noticed by the people who pause and stop and take a moment or two.

People like you.

My work focuses on themes of family and devotion. Both very important to me. It’s one of the reasons I find Supernatural so appealing.

I also cover themes of love and loss. The moments that happen in a blink, but that blink could fill a thousand worlds with its depth.

I love focusing on moments of discovery or pivotal changes in the main character’s story. Like when Luke first met Leia in the 1977 Star Wars. His entire world changed but he had no idea in the moment.

We all have these moments in our lives, and sometimes they go unrecognized for a while, but their impact is felt. I wanted to explore these within a framework that is common to a lot of people: pop culture.

Pop culture can be a polarizing subject for a lot of people. Love it or hate it, it shapes and moves our culture and has an important impact on every one of us.

In painting these themes and going maybe a little deeper into pop culture, I’m telling my own narrative. After all, we reflect what we bring to the table and I bring a deep desire for human connections, the human story in all its messiness.

A lot of my paintings are designed to work together. The Harry Potter one (“Not Slytherin”) and the Snape one (“Snape”) were painted together. They work well enough on their own but in the context of Harry’s wonder, naiveté and hope and Snape’s apparent derision, there’s more depth.

The tryptic I did a few years ago of the Reichanbach Fall from Sherlock. Watson, Sherlock and the cut of Sherlock on the building all tell a story of manipulation, impending tragedy and the actions one takes to protect a loved one at any cost.

I always circle back to the idea that we are not islands but small parts of a larger whole. My paintings speak the loudest when I focus on those moments that show that.

So yeah, the ten-thousand-foot-view is a lot of fun, but it’s only a fraction of the story.