“There’s no ghosts in the graveyard. That’s not where they live. They float in-between us. What is and what if.”- Josh Ritter
I set out to make a spooky art shows and I think I got there- just not the way I intended. I had in mind some monsters. Lovecraftian ghouls, skulls, body horror, and probably a whole lot of ghosts. I love those things and am excited to explore them more, but recently I have found more spookiness in the faces of strangers. I wanted to illustrate those shades I imagined in portraits of people I will never meet. The ghosts of their past trauma, identities, addictions and unrequited loves, but also the spirits of joy and redemption that haunt them, too.
So what I am doing is essentially a collection of recent work, created for this specific time and place to join the other ghosts of art that has hung here before. A collection that marks where I am and where I hope to go- and wherever I end up going, I certainly will bring my own ghosts along.
Why is social commentary an important part of your artistic expression, or was the Dr. Ford painting an outlier for you?
Social commentary is important, and often present in my work. Sometimes it is more explicit than others. I feel like most artists feel a responsibility to not be ambivalent to the world around them and social commentary is just one way to use art as a lens to examine the world we live in with more empathy. I don’t see my work as “political” per se, but more concerned with the fundamental question of how people are treated in our society.
What's your favorite part about creating art?
My favorite part has to be seeing it make an impact on people. I always hope it resonates positively with everyone, but I would rather someone hate one of my pieces and remember it, than have it solicit no reaction at all. In those cases, I would hope that it would still contribute in some small way to their thoughtfulness, empathy or imagination. With most of my artwork, but the Dr. Ford piece especially, I feel like the reactions to it say more about the viewer than it does about me, and that is definitely one of my favorite dynamics.
Source: The Johnson City Press / The Artist