I am a Humanist, an Existentialist, a Christian, and an Other. At first glance, one might question how these identities can co-exist. A rational answer to that question is they can’t. Nonetheless, in spite of their metaphysical and social constructions, they do.
My work gives an identifiable face to an issue that is intrinsic in a society which requires the act of simplification to function: the reduction, generalization, and dismissal of other selves. Simplification, while not inherently problematic, can create a series of problems if used a means of reduction. Otherness is one such means, in which simplification is implemented as an acquisition of power. The purpose of my work is not to argue the existence of aforementioned reduction, the purposeful diminution of value or the essentialization of selves and spaces, but to create space for talking about Otherness, Power, and Erasure. Unlike other conditions of social categorization (gender/sex/race/sexuality/etc.), Otherness is conditional, intersectional, nuanced, and projected.
I choose the figure and representation because they are objects in the human visual vocabulary that are relatable to anyone. I need that accessibility and cling to it, in order to make visible what many willingly choose to ignore what is arguably not a visible or non-visual concern. To etch that broad and easily identifiable face on Otherness, Power, and Erasure. Light, erasure, the ever-frantic emotional mark, and the purposeful lack of color are my language. With their usage I craft stories to highlight and illuminate how Otherness, Power, and Erasure have physical manifestations that argue the realities of people and places depicted. These are not mimetic reproductions; rules are bent, shadows appear where they do not belong, reflections are agents of metaphor, perspective is skewed. Rather, the work should be thought of as metaphorical manifestations depicting a series of perspectives not easily spoken. They are crafted artificial perspectives that vehicle organic experiences in service of aiding a changing contemporary representation of the disenfranchised.