In this series I’m taking found objects that I’ve discovered in my daily life, painting on them, and then reframing them to provoke a new way of understanding the detritus and unassuming “things” that we so often overlook in everyday life. I paint scenes from daily life that are related somehow to the thing itself as a way of connecting the object to a human narrative.
Growing up the son of a Panamanian mother, our house was filled with the indigenous art of the Kuna people, which often influences the sense of color in my paintings. My mother had a framed piece of Kuna fabric that always followed us throughout our travels and later ended up in my possession. One day the frame fell off the wall and I realized it was made up of two parts, a frame with a base and nails sticking through the back side and the actual art placed on the front with the nails sticking through. This inspired me to think of objects as art, directing my own interest in elevating everyday objects and giving them new life through the act of painting and framing. The framing of a simple, painted object makes it take on a new meaning. I hope these pieces inspire viewers to take note of the small beauty in the physical world that surrounds us.
The In a Distant World series is a battle of expressions—an amalgam of modern design, juxtaposed imagery and contrasts of color drawn from the urban industrial world. These works omit dimensional space and instead create a floating and boundless world in an exploration of release from what is expected of the two dimensional picture plane. Formal elements of design like negative space, composition and arrangement ground and direct the work towards its own internal logic. While the images are based in figurative patterns, they are broken up and rearranged, creating my most abstract work to-date. For instance, the idea for the piece Magic came from an earlier sketch depicting separated elements, presenting a harmonious ecosystem of tension with both action and resistance represented. These paintings were made during a major transition in my life: a breakup and a move to California from Texas. The fragmented and floating elements in the work mirror a sense being unhinged and disjointed, and in some ways represent a specific feeling and point of time in my life.
In this series I took note of the packing palette as an employee of Costco Wholesale and later through the industrial scenes in near my house. I began to consider the importance of consumerism and its vast effects on humans—both physically and psychologically. The packing pallet is a universally ubiquitous object that invokes direct parallels to the intricacies and interconnectedness of the global economy; it is both a symbol for the global economy and a metaphor for an artist’s palette. My interest in representing an often overlooked object serves as a reminder of the insidious nature of our consumer-driven world. Instead of critiquing the more commercial aspects of consumerism such as advertisements or branding, I’m intrigued by the subtlety of the pallet as a symbol of accessibility to goods and labor while maintaining a core essence of simplicity and straightforwardness.
Pallets enable us to move large loads globally; some are even strong enough to support up to a ton of weight in commercial goods. I’m want to take this real object and transform it from a representational into a nonrepresentational form. My goal is to highlight the aesthetic value inherent in elegant simplicity while acknowledging the more complex themes of labor, transportation of goods, globalism and modernity.