In my painting I aim to explore themes consonant with my philosophical writing, including the idea (which I closely associate with Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Stanley Cavell) that our coming to acknowledge others is an expression of our passional or affective natures. Typically the figures in my paintings look back at us, as though hoping to elicit our sympathy. Exactly because they are not always immediately recognizable to us as human, their demands for sympathy are both fraught and urgent. I hope that beholders might see in them the expression of a pet, or of a doppelgänger.

I think of art-making as a kind of labor, and I am attracted to the idea, entertained by Asger Jorn and Raymond Williams, that it is part of society's material base (and not only part of its ideological superstructure). Specifically, I think of art-making as a kind of material labor that, when it captures a subject's individuality, and ensnares us in relationsips of recognition, can also constitute an ideological revolt against the reifying effects of capitalism and industrialization.

Visually, I take particular inspiration from Jorn's own paintings, as well from the likes of Maria Lassnig, Alina Szapocznikow, Francisco Goya, Frank Auerbach, James Ensor, and cinema of all sorts.

Photo credit: Cécile Guédon

Photo credit: Cécile Guédon