In 2012 I performed in a set design for dance at New York Live Arts (Ambient Cowboy), in which I explored a newly enabled drawing technique that reached beyond the traditional limits of drawing, by allowing me to place my live hand-drawn line from a tablet directly in the performance space, projecting it across the entire stage. My live drawing became part of the dance.
Since then I have been working on various drawing performance projects and similar commissions, including a set of twelve live drawings at the Hood Museum. I was invited to present this work at the upcoming conference on New Urbanism “ Intersections: Understanding Urbanism in the Global Age,” at Harvard in April, a chance to widen the dialogue around live drawing performances.
Most of my studio work has been serial—multiple panels of the same size that repeat and form a multitude of views of the same (or a similar) thing. Figure studies are at the base of these paintings, and there are shoes and wheels and pulleys, and chairs and dishes—things that interest me when held and handled, as they manage to tell so directly and simply of the human proportion.
What I have been looking for is a directness of brushstrokes, a swiftness of colors, and a reduction of painterly correction, of “coloring-in”— a drawing-like approach to painting. I changed my work habits, have started using many more brushes, sometimes up to two hundred different brushes in each piece. Each brush has its own mark and weight, and I’ve been finding the forms and volumes of each painting through these brush strokes alone, often through lateral repetition and exposed error.
I’m inspired by hand-writing, graffiti, calligraphy, home-made maps: any direct trace of the human hand. I like to look at chalkboards and sandwich signs placed on the street outside cafés and bars. Hand-written menus or notes are to me, by now, an anachronistic form of risk-taking. Not a big risk, admittedly, but one that stirs something in me.
The paintings I’m interested in have nothing to do with the world of ideas. I want them to remain rich in stuff, in shapes, in textures, but doggedly story-less.