Is meaning objectively accessed, or subjectively derived? Do we perceive reality as much as we project our previous experiences and idealizations onto it?

These are the questions I consider throughout my creative process. Before starting a painting, I assemble a small diorama using a varied assortment of collected materials. Stacking, twisting, suspending, and gluing items into place, I construct microenvironments that spark my interest and fuel my imagination.

Using these constructions as references, I create paintings that explore how objects can transform when placed in a new context. Grouped together, cropped, and accentuated with controlled light, formerly banal items can appear enticing, curious, and beautiful. I project these newfound qualities into paintings, altering color, light, and perspective to create a hybrid of the reality I see and the one I wish to see. By the time I finish a painting, the subject matter becomes cohesive through an inner logic, rendering the original constructed still life irrelevant. Throughout the whole process, meaning is created, destroyed, projected, and interpreted.

Creating these paintings makes me keenly aware of how everything we perceive and experience is filtered through a matrix of previous experience, language, culture, and desires. The meanings we attach to things are therefore quite subjective. While lack of inherent meaning and the fabricated nature of one’s reality can lead to perceiving existence as absurd, it also opens up a world of possibilities, in which we, as subjects, can define in many different ways what it means to be human.