Painting is a way to see if something is possible.
In a real way, exploring a motif is an investigation to see if it is possible to be painted. I wonder sometimes if something cannot be painted. Wondering is pointless, however, because the only way to know is something is paintable is to try to realize it as a painting. This is the difference between a theory and an action. All my understanding about painting comes from figuring these things out in material. I can't make a theoretical decision about art before I make something. This kind of analysis can only take place in the presence of something. Otherwise I would talk myself out of doing anything because there is always a reason NOT to do something. But in the right hands, a still life painting can be a radical assertion. (I'm thinking of the brilliant Janet Fish in particular.)
The challenge is to make something even though there is nothing left to make. The challenge is to question the notion of the unpaintable, the unsayable, the unseeable.
Sometimes I make a successful picture that contradicts what I think a picture can do, or should do. Sometimes I make something that I do not recognize as my own work.
These are paintings that teach me about the paintings I need to make. They also point to the work that I am still in the process of learning how to make.
Core to my art making process is to make art out of horror. The current moment presents us with no shortage of that.
My challenge is to make work that speaks to the time without trivializing. My challenge is to compete with spectacle.