Harold W. Tribble Professor
“I am interested in illusions, in things not being quite what they seem. I am attracted to painting because it allows me to create an illusion and simultaneously reveal the means of its production. Oil painting’s wet viscosity allows for ongoing shifting of structure; it is does not have to be “either/or,” “on/off,” “0/1.” I prefer to use paint to maximize this characteristic– its ability to both make an image and revert to material.
As the pictorial function of painting has been replaced with more efficient photographic and digital capture and dissemination, it is painting’s very physicality that is critical. The nuanced, dimensional touch of oil paint is a sensitive record of the human hand in a moment of time, captured in a way that is palpable and visual. This is a somewhat romantic view, as it gives a degree of primacy to painting’s corporeal existence — a valuing of the body present, a feminized artifact. And, there is an inherent distrust of this embodiment. Physicality? Touch? Object of gaze? Object of market desire? Egad! This romantic view is balanced by the need of the hand to be rooted in the present, to be a part of our contemporary experience.”