Artist Statement

The intention of my current series is to investigate themes of stigmatized desires and regulated pleasures. In an effort to dispel these, i have created images that emphasize their beauty, grace, and tenderness, reflecting my attitude toward such things.  This reflection is conceived by the viewer via my painting style, which attempts to reach a highly rendered, idealized, hyper-romantic quality.

Some of my imagery is forthcoming in its homosexual context but is not explicitly or overtly sexual in its graphic content.  I have abandoned representation of genitalia and acts of intercourse in order to retain the focus on romance and intimacy.  This choice of visual exclusion stems from the idea that, as an individual, sex does not define who I am (or any member of the LGBT community).  Exemplifications of sexually graphic imagery might only condone and promote the objectification of non-heterosexuals; propagating heterosexism and, in turn, discrimination.

My hope for my work is to accomplish the following goals: to normalize and demystify gay love; to propose a safe and positive environment that is conducive to a constructive discourse concerning gay, social issues; to confront gender-role conformity and sexual identity; to encourage heterosexists to reevaluate preconceived notions of their fellow gay citizens.

By creating my images in a traditional painting style, the aspect of normalcy is emphasized and is supported by its context in art history as a prevailing genre of visual art.  This offers a negotiation of undertones such as value, significance, legitimacy, and social relevance–not only in regards to the representation of homosexuals but to us as individuals as well.

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