Nature has a primordial grip on my soul, but I’ve never been surrounded by it. I have experienced much of the nature I know in a very synthetic way, consuming it through books, television, the Internet. I am a tourist in nature. When I want to see something more real, I visit a zoo, an aquarium, a natural history museum, botanical gardens. I am a human from the Anthropocene, the digital age, a media-saturated culture. Like fire, water, and wind, we are a force that shapes the earth. My work is about nature after humans; nature after our deliberate attempts to shape it; nature as a side effect of human or cosmic interventions; nature as utopian fantasy or terrifying apocalypse. My fantasies are a biodiversity of hybrid creatures, decadence, and humor.
My creative brain rifles through past experiences, images I have seen, stories I have heard, flavors and aromas I have tasted and smelled. Like a jazz musician I improvise and make my own wunderkammers from these swirling memories. Like Dr. Frankenstein, I combine and create my own creatures. My methods are varied and promiscuous. From film to cooking, science to superstition, I appropriate tools and techniques from many different practices. A brush and paint will not be the solution to every problem. I feel like a cultural cannibal, a sponge absorbing everything from Disney to shrunken heads from the Amazon rainforest. The alternate universe of cartoons fascinates me, where many rules are broken and reality is reinterpreted: animals can talk, limbs can stretch like chewing gum, flesh can melt like chocolate, aliens take shape, super strength, bizarre abilities, anything and everything is possible.
I feel nostalgic for the loss of a world that a future generation will never know. But my work is also about metamorphosis. I create psychotic landscapes and fantastic zoologies where nature hangs on to its power to adapt. My message is not a red alert. It’s not a warning about the horrors to come and the irreversible penalties we may suffer. I capture nature dying, yet dealing with its own death.