I start my paintings and drawings by sifting through my large archive of family photo albums, childhood sketchbooks, cartoon stills, and “90’s nostalgia” Pinterest boards. I am interested in the fallibility of memory as I grapple with these images as evidence of events, actions, entertainment, and consumer products that defined a specific time of my childhood. Revisiting this era in my early development has served as a biographical and cultural lens to analyze my current inclinations towards art-making. This process also offers respite to simpler times by quelling the anxieties of the present brought on by current-day political, social and economic stresses.
In Marcel Proust’s novel In Search of Lost Time, the narrator, (an autofictional version of the author) famously eats a madeleine cookie and is transported through sensory experience back to a vivid remembering of his childhood. Unlike Proust, my source material has lead me further from the reality of time passed. Conjuring completely unrelated or adjacent memories, I collage disparate images together, both narratively and physically, within the paintings and drawings. By combining fragments of divergent memories, both personal and cultural, my work belies the notion that memory is something pure, intact and unchanging - something that can be neatly summoned at will.
The paintings and drawings are nostalgic, however not in the standard definition as having a sentimentality for the past, but rather to have a sentimentality towards a utopian memory that never existed. The work tells a diaristic fiction based on true, deeply personal events while still inviting the viewer in with the universality of everyday events and objects reflective of a middle class American upbringing at the end of the 20th century.