Heavy Handed has been up for about a week now and I’ve been getting a really positive response, I thought I’d share the statement I wrote for the show and few more images. Also, for the locals, the next issue of Seven Days will have an article about me and the show, so keep an eye out for that – on news stands Wednesday, November 20th, the same day as the reception for the show.
These drawings and paintings began as simple cloud forms. Through the process of making, they magically began to push out body parts—hands, specifically, began to dominate the pictures. My own interest in hands increased during a trip I made to Italy this summer. Looking at the paintings of Duccio, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, and de Chirico, I became interested in how their own hand was in the work, i.e., how they actually touched the paintings to make them, and how they portrayed hands in their paintings as expressive forms.
The process of making a painting holds a different meaning for me than the final image does, but I am interested in how those two elements work together to form a meaning larger than either aspect alone. For instance, my own touch has become important in the making of this work; the prints depend on how much pressure I apply to the paper as I work with the material to find the image. The characters represented in the work do a similar thing: they try to find their way, pulling from and penetrating the nothingness they are simultaneously confronted with and derived from. They blindly search for meaning, perhaps to no avail.
Maybe these hands floating through the unknown are my own illusory attempt to understand what it is to experience—and to find meaning—as a human being. Through making this work, I’ve often found myself questioning how much meaning I can and should be controlling, and in general, my inclinations have moved toward letting go of my heavy handed tendencies and relinquishing the control I might never have had in the first place.