Artist Statement

From very early childhood I was fascinated with infectious disease, particularly its history. I can safely say that I was probably the only kindergartener who chose to talk about The Black Death for my first show-and-tell. Suffice to say, my life and my art have always been strongly tied to medicine and I have spent many years exploring ways of portraying this often disturbing subject matter. This has culminated in my painting series, Beneath the Skin, the title of which references the the microscopic world of disease within a body

Unfortunately, as a topic, medical history is often poached for graphic imagery where it is used online. This most evident on social media where historic illustrations and photos of people badly afflicted with illness are posted for attention or as a scare. This results in individuals becoming nameless exhibits in a vast internet freak show. This left me questioning how to prevent my art from becoming guilty of exploitation as well.

In response, I developed a distinctive way of creating images while also destroying them. The use of jagged tearing, rough material, and multiple layers masks the identity of the people I am painting while still preserving the raw emotion of their struggle. Because this series of works draws people through its strikingly disjointed appearance, it never relies on the source as a hook. Beneath the Skin avoids becoming a display of horrors and instead becomes a reflection of my deeply obsessive love of medical history.