Cultural Enigma 2019

Artist Statement

My most recent series of works, Cultural Enigma, broadens the focus to address not only the politics of color and class, but also what we refer to as culture. These works ask whether culture exists and, if so, why it is important in our lives, how we present ourselves culturally, and what symbols and signs we choose to signify our cultural presence, if any. I call these abstract paintings, which reference a variety of historical and contemporary source materials, “cultural Rorschach tests.” Viewers are invited to identify what they see in the images to reveal their cultural knowledge and perspective. Cultural Enigma also includes figurative works on paper. The subjects are taken from and in homage to important US and European twentieth-century portrait painters, such as David Hockney, Alice Neel, and Philip Pearlstein, among others. These seated figures appear with no other cultural insignia other than their brown skin.

Full Artist Statement