The work is comprised of autobiographical narratives from my everyday experiences. The conflict in the stories comes both from without and within: awkward, frustrating situations force perplexed responses from the protagonist (me) even as I struggle to maintain internal balance between combative contradictory thoughts and impulses.
I adopt many conventions from comic books. They allow me to freely incorporate text and image into the same pictorial space. Additionally, the comic book form possesses associations with “low art” that are valuable to my work. Comics are entertaining and non-threatening – they are perceived as childish and frivolous, and are accessible to a mass audience. I use the formal devices of comic books to raise the viewer/reader’s expectations for a lighthearted, juvenile form of entertainment. However, once the viewer/reader examines the work more closely, I give them something else: a new way of looking at regular life that reveals the profound in the ordinary; a chance to identify with my awkward, deeply personal experiences; a quiet note of encouragement that none of us is truly alone.
The work has a fragmented character, made more chaotic by the presence of an almost unreadable amount of text. Different kinds of texts, images and symbols confront one another in the images, suggesting that the Self is unstable, divided and incomplete, rather than unified and singular. This idea of division is reinforced by the presence of multiple versions of the same characters in the same space, and further underscored by a combination of diverse materials and processes, such as printmaking, writing, collage, drawing, painting, performance, and simple sculptural assemblage.
The masses of text are broken up into clusters of action, speech and narration, relaying the details of smaller events within the larger overall story. The quotation and narration that I provide are incomplete, however, and the events are not ordered in a linear, chronological fashion. This deliberate transgression of traditional storytelling allows the viewer/reader to enter the work at any given point in the narrative, and take glimpses of brief, tableau-like moments in the plot in no premeditated order. The fragmentation further serves to capture both the episodic nature of ordinary life, and the scattered character of vernacular speech and private thought. What is more, the mere inclusion of long text passages forces a conundrum on the viewer/reader, requiring them to both see and read.
I select particular stories from my life for telling, and discard others. The kinds of stories I choose to disclose are characterized by anxiety, and require me to become vulnerable and expose often-embarrassing events of my life. These personal admissions enable me to make intimate connections with the viewer/reader, simply because we can all relate to moments of shame and self-loathing. Herein is a paradox of the work: it is self-centered, yet designed to achieve communion