Suspensions

In this work, I use stainless-steel cable, stretched within an enamel-coated wooden frame, to create a mathematical lattice which, though separated by several inches of space from the wall behind it, falls into near-perfect alignment with a sequence of colorful, geometric paintings. Looking more closely, one can see this connection in the subtle lines that have been masked into the textured surface of each tilted canvas. However, due to spacial distance, one can never see the complete alignment at once. The paintings express the visceral nature of experience, while the lattice represents a kind of cosmic design weaving it all together. The space between is unknowability.

I am always finding new connections within my work. One such connection lies in my use of stainless steel cable. I like it for its strength and permanence, but also for its fluidity. When I first started experimenting with visual media, I was, naively, under the impression that great artists left nothing to chance—that the reason their work was great was, precisely, because they were certain of their beliefs and completely confident in their ability to execute their ideas. This series was one of the first stages of my journey to unlearn this.

I was raised in a Christian home, but, in my early twenties, I began questioning my faith. I deeply love my family and friends, many of whom are Christians; and the strain this has brought into my relationships is, to this day, painful. Consequently, I have often wrestled with an insatiable desire for certainty—a thing I took for granted throughout most of my childhood and adolescence. This is what drove me to create Suspensions. It was a desperate search for something to hold onto. My mind ran down almost as many rabbit holes as it stumbled across, from the metaphysical to mystical—from the historical to the scientific. Ironically, when I finally mounted the exhibition, I felt no closer to the truth. If anything, I had more questions than I did before. 

Several years and enumerable rabbit holes later, I have finally come to a place where I feel, at least, comfortable with the possibility that the unknown is what gives life (and for that matter, art) its beauty. I have accepted that my work shapes me more than I shape it; but, even more, I have accepted that I cannot escape the “leap of faith.” This humbling thought has become the thread of steel which runs through my practice—a belief that there are more connections to discover than I could possibly take credit for. Learning to accept this has allowed me to treat my practice as an exploration rather than an exposition, making it possible for me to genuinely connect with those who experience and respond to my work.

With these thoughts in mind, find what you can in this work. It paints an imagined story of life and death—a landscape of peril and peace. There are golden ratios, theories of everything, harmonic connections between light, color, and sound; but the only thing truly certain is the experience you are having right now. As you experience this, I ask you to suspend judgement, if only for a moment, and simply appreciate it. Whatever it is, it’s real.