Oil on canvas, 2005
Collection of the artist
I feel the most addictive influences of our culture leave the individual with a false sense of identity through material gain and in turn, a lack of connectedness within society and nature. In the end, the individual becomes dependent upon the very system that leaves him feeling empty and abstracted. In this portrait the ideas of dependency and abstraction are relevant in the relationships between the figure and the electrical box. Jeff proved to be the perfect subject for this painting. His eyes convey an aberrant, penetrating intensity and the pose chosen is unnaturally stiff and rigid. The wiry veins in the arms weave into the vein-like circuitry of the wrinkles in the shirt. These characteristics together relate to the organic nature of the circuitry and harsh rectangular rigidity of the electrical box. The ambient light has a bluish charge, accentuating the electrical theme of the painting. The single wire behind Jeff represents the umbilical cord-like reliance we have on society. I have always sought to emulate and call upon the academic techniques fostered by old master realist painters. I believe that the human figure is the best source for conveying the general and subliminal aspects of human emotion. I feel that there has been a resurgence of figurative art within the art world today. As a figurative painter, my goal is to apply those techniques in ways that express my perceptions of contemporary culture.